A Travellerspoint blog

So long, lah!

You know, when people leave a company, a city or a team, they tend to send soppy emails about how wonderful it was, how much they will miss it, and how they promise to stay in touch...well, this is one of those. A year+ in Singapore. So much seen, so much done. But now, it's time to go a gallivanting. New places, new experiences, perhaps find a new home. So long, Singapore.

I am wondering if I should write another blog...what do you think? My brother thinks I should stick with travel stories and not bother with sharing any mid-life angst! A buddy thinks I should be able to take criticism about my writing. Well, I am taking votes. Email me if you would like me to continue sharing this rollercoaster...and suggest a name for the new blog!

Ps: I am itching to write about travel envy. It has freshly revealed itself to me. And might be worthy of discussion.

Posted by Goofy9 06:14 Archived in Singapore Comments (8)

Life is so tough without jam

Penang

I have so much jam, I should start bottling and giving it away! So much to be grateful for...sometimes I just need a reminder. I have my more than un-jammy share of ickyness...just finished a role which took a lot out of me physically and emotionally. I feel like I am still recovering from it. Monumental fatigue like I have never known before. An achy heart, a few dead grey cells. That sort of thing. But all in all, really, some perspective and I circle back to sticky, sugary, goodness.

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A friend from Denver said that she likes to take breaks (mini vacations) as it gives her pause from the mundane and her mind then has the ability to be less transactional. I took that to heart and just spent a weekend doing nothing in Penang. Woke up thinking about someone at work who I don't like, lay in bed adjusting tasks on a project plan, over breakfast I thought about how to pack all my books when I move...but pre-noon, my mind had exhausted itself of the tedium and starting thinking about (wait for it....here it comes) boys! I read and an hour or so later I started thinking about how small the world is and how liberating it is to have roots where ever I choose to put some down. A walk on the beach had me down a line of thought revolving around how to make the year ahead different from the year past.

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Over ginger ale, I decided that life is superbly jammy! So many possibilities. I can choose to open any door. There are doors again, not just one door, one plan, one way. It used be just a well planned life, everything pre-cooked and efficient. And now, there's the drama of the unknown. And the fun of seeing where this life will take moi.

Photos, if you are so inclined.

Posted by Goofy9 Mon 18 Apr 2011 07:01 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

How does a place make you feel

Hong Kong

Other lands may return to us a sense of possibility. They encourage us to be more accepting of ourselves.
- Alain de Botton

My dear brother is the mile-a-minute variety of traveler. He is so full of energy, that he exhausts me. He has a plan and a detailed itinerary; breathtakingly well planned. Now, I am the kind of traveler who picks 2-3 things that I must do and I spend the rest of my time drinking tea at cafes, sitting at bars watching people, planning my next meal; generally whiling away my time soaking in the atmosphere. Hong Kong proved to be perfect for whiling away and soaking in.

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Iconic Bank of China building designed by IM Pei, seen from Victoria Peak. You get to the Peak riding an old, Swiss-made funicular.

I don’t exactly know what it is about the Hong Kong but I felt that I would be very happy living and working there. And it's the first city in Asia, and only city so far, that I have felt that way about, aside from Singapore. It felt very livable. And vibrant. So far, every city has been an "interview," in which I make a quick judgment call on whether can I live there, would I be happy there, how does this place make me feel.

It's only recently that I have begun to give thought to how places make me feel. The component of "feeling" was dormant in me all these years. Practicality is what drove my decisions - moves were always meant to be driven by the fact that it was a good career choice, or the school was better there so you move or that the Army made you do it (my dad was in the military).

I never gave it a thought when we moved to Denver, never questioned if I would be happy there. I assumed that happiness was/is wholly and completely in my hands. Not driven by the inches of snow, the scenery or any such impractical thoughts (that's the Indian in me - being completely pragmatic. An Indian in Detroit is quite as happy as one in Bali). When I moved to the US, I really didn’t give two hoots of which city I would move too, I didn’t "interview" cities, I had the truly youthful approach of "we'll see when we get there." But now, meeting cities, is like looking at art. I actually pause to think about what emotions this place wells up in me, does it leave me wanting more, does it leave me feeling icky, does it make me question anything at all.

And yes, I started talking about Hong Kong, so here are a few pictures

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Posted by Goofy9 Sat 2 Apr 2011 00:20 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (3)

Macau

Went to Angkor in early Feb and by end Feb I had the travel itch again, and due to the fact that I actually have to work and have a job and all that boring stuff, I planned not to take a trip at least through April. But that stay-put idea did not last long! Macau is just a few hours away from Singapore and supposedly a good weekend trip.

Macau was a Portuguese colony, strangely Chinese now, with American casinos. All sorts of surreal.
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A little bit of history and architecture, but mostly big garish casinos. Have a look at the photos to get a feel for the city. Photos from the trip

The most interesting thing about Macau was what happened to me at the airport. Feeling all sorts of happy to get home, I walk up to the counter at 1pm and the lady tells me that the flight is not till 9.30 at night and my reservation shows 2.30 in the afternoon. Hmmm...and then I realize, goofus me, that I booked my return ticket on the wrong date! So, my first reaction is to text a friend and say "Dont tell anyone how stupid I am!" Dont ever admit to idiocy like this. And absolutely deny this.

I spent the next 6 hours at the airport coming up with wild stories about how fun Macau is and that's why I decided to stay longer...just to avoid feeling foolish about a wrong reservation. I was reminded me about the time my dad booked a ticket for me on the wrong date, and how all of us had a good laugh at his expensive and made it a grand family joke. And now, I was the family joke. I really wonder what it is about us that makes us not want to own up to our silliness - the fact that looking silly is not comfortable? I know, in my case I was just fed up with myself. Come on, I am the one who has a long blog entry about losing my passport, so someone should think that I would have the common sense to book a ticket on the right date. My head was hurting, I was feeling sick, and all I could think of was lying to my friends and family about a delayed flight. Really!

I beat myself up about this and by the time I landed at 2am, I was completely torn between denying all foolishness or coming clean that this was actually quite funny. Well, no more tickets shall ever be booked wrongly again, me is certain. That's the sort of mistake you don't make twice, yeah?

Posted by Goofy9 Mon 21 Mar 2011 00:11 Archived in Macau Comments (3)

34 and I am not talking about the weather!

Happy birthdayweek to me

Birthdays are a crazy thing, and the fact that I have a birthdayweek makes it kookier! I feel happy all week long and the feeling of goodness culminates on my actual birth day. Oh, I have threatened to have a birthdaymonth too, but that has proven to be a bit much. I think birthdays are like New Year- a time for retrospection, with a pinch of introspection thrown in. Time to be silly giddy, cuz you can! No one is going to fault a little or a lot of silliness. After all who has the gall to be grumpy on a birthday. Especially with pretty flowers, cake, candles lit, wishes made, greetings sung.

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There are little mini traditions, rituals around birthdayweek. Mom has to anxiously start checking 2 days ahead if my bday card reached. This is no ordinary bday card. It's extra special, it's probably taken a week and a couple of card stores before The One is picked. And there's the matter of tying dad to a chair to ensure he makes the time to write in the card. It's all cute!

Then there's a ritual from younger days, thankfully not done anymore - the midnight phone call! A friend from teenage. Years would always call at midnight. Now the trick is, is it midnight in India, midnight in the US, midnight in Singapore, midnight in the UK? Which midnight, I say?!

And here's the best tradition of all: I don't go to work. Ever since my first internship, taking the day off for my bday is my way of sticking it to the man! I usually do one something that I have not done before. One year I went to a fire station, another year I went to the state legislature to watched proceedings. This year, I took a boat ride along the Singapore river. Check out the photos.

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Happy birthday week to me! You should try it too.

Posted by Goofy9 Thu 3 Mar 2011 18:00 Archived in Singapore Comments (5)

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