Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Short Fix to My Wanderlust

48 hours. Thats all I have to capture some sun,sea,breeze,booth and inspiration. 

Am lost at this cosmopolitan island without much of a purpose which is eatubg me inside out.

It seems that my shelf life here is due. 
Or perhaps its my wanderlust bug bugging me...

Am happy for this short getaway. I was humming songs the moment I arrived at the airport. 
Its like a different kind of air that I am breathing that makes me so alive. 

So here's to a great discovery journey! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A lesson of Up To You

Bodhgaya, India

The foreign feeling is still there. In fact, I was a lost little lamb when I first touched down at Calcutta. 

And hence from there is going by the flow with other fellow travellers. 
Those been to India before and a few like me - new to India. 

Its a different experience altogether. Mostly due to size of the country and each state have its own uniqueness. Its not the same compared to Cambodia, Thailand, Laos or Vietnam. 

In those countries, I met travellers heading a common destination after we are done with current one. 
India is to big of a country to find likewise travellers. 
So I went to Bodhgaya alone boarding the train from Calcutta.
I was not very much sure when I met another Viet-Australian alight off at Gaya. 

We were bombarded by loads of rickshaw drivers offering to take us to Bodhgaya -  the scared place where Prince Siddhartha Gautama gained enlightenment. 

Anyway, at the end of the day, I was scared the shit out brain coz of the 2 touts awaiting for us at Bodhgaya. 

Me and Viet guy decided to stick together for the rickshaw to Bodhgaya (yep, no direct train to the holy place). So there we have 2 touts with their bikes waiting for us the early birds on this off peak season for tourist. 

Coaxed of a better place to stay compared to our choice, we agreed for them to bring us around the area with an "up to you' fees. 
Trust me, I was up front with them to gimme an amount that I am comfortable with, they kept being friendly with the phrase "up to you". 

So here's the day tripping pictures before the nightmare began…..

Monkeys scatters along the way to the Dungeshwari Cave. Well, there are also those touts here asking for bak-shi, buy incense or food for the monkeys along the way. Since its off peak season, there wasn't much to dodge though. 

Dungeshwari Cave - Siddharta spent years in severe penance until he was finally emaciated and skeletal. 

Village houses along the way. My guess is that those are cow/buffalo dungs on the wall of the huts.

Sujata Shrine - This is the place where Sujata offered milk to Siddharta Gautama when he first left the cave. 

School Children. Underprivileged - Yes. 
 However the adults (the teacher and our 'tour guide') got busted exploiting money from tourist (us) by telling us a book for the kids costs 500 Rupees. Viet guy found out when the teacher asked our tour guide the amount to quote when question on the cost of a book for the children. 
This was only shared with me by Viet friend when we reached Mahabodhi Temple.

The Legendary Mahabodhi Temple. 

You are to remain silent at the vicinity of the temple for some are meditating here. 

The moment I found out from Viet guy that these 2 'friends' are exploits, I got so quiet and less exciting at the Mahabodhi temple. 

Many thought ran through my mind, especially the 'friendly' "UP TO YOU" fees. 
Its like, what if the amount I am offering is not up to what they expect? 
What am I to argue? I am in their land. What if they bring a throng of backups to rob us? 
I decided to opt out of further trips after the temple and asked my biker to send me back to the guesthouse. 

As expected, the amount paid was not of his satisfaction but I don't know what kind of courage got into me to talk sense into him. 

I sort of say its both of our fault that we did not agree the amount. Also argued that he said its up to me and that this is all I can afford. 
Yes in between, he told me his stories of borrowing the bike from another village and have to fill up petrol tank. 
He was speechless when i asked him how much is per litre of petrol here (Thank you Lonely Planet). 
Its was some defending argument but I paid my reasonable amount and ran back to my room. 

To think of it after that, I got so scared I pushed the table blocking my room door locking myself in the room the rest of the day and the night. 

Sadly this is where I have to use those Chlorine Dioxide tablets to cure the water for drinking. 

It was so yucky! Never again unless required as such! 

I left Bodhgaya immediately the next morning. 

Bumped into Viet guy, said hello and bye. 

Rushed off to find a rickshaw but more touts from shops outside Mahabodhi Temple came running to me. 

I was pissed at this place. I was pissed at the people. I wanna get out of here but not before I was stopped by a Nepali asking me whats wrong etc. 
So not wanting to offend anyone anymore, I agreed to talk about it over chai. 
It was frustrating to sit and talk what wrong with me and the place when I just wanna get out of there. 

So I finished my chai, cut short my story and went back to the train station to get a tix to Varanasi. 

Sadly the train was at night so I spend most of the day in the train station fending off flies and wait………….here and there loitering at the station…

Lesson learnt - Never agree to anything priced at "UP TO YOU". 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Literally…Longing to travel

Been 3 years since I came back from backpacking…..
Aside from another visit back to India, 2 HK trips (oh yeah Disneyland… ha ha) and Holland + a little Germany…

I am literally longing to travel…. to be away.. to be on my own.. to have a purpose to wake up to everyday.. 

There is a fruit picking job in Australia. Worth a try to work and get some travels done….

Would I be considered overage?

Well i should start blogging again my previous trips before ageing erase my memory…

Hello again 


Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday in Central Mumbai

Office closed. Much less crowd and its almost peaceful when there are minimal honking.

This is a good opportunity to be mesmerized by the old buildings preserved.... :)

I had my first taste of bombay duck and tandoori fish (tandoori rawas) at this restaurant - Apoorva.
Its definitely tasty.

Bombay duck or bombil - the flesh of the fish is soft and almost translucent.
It melts in my mouth once I have got though the crispy outer layer.
Soft bones will not harm your throat.
Dash some lime juice and add some mint paste!! That soft tangy and fresh taste.... I am in heaven!!

I had tandoori chicken before but not tandoori fish.
Fish meat still in place even after they grill it.
Soft crisp on the outer layer and when you get to the meat, surprise!!!!
Its not even overcooked with all the grilling.

Must have it again!

P/s: Okay.... so somebody bugging me to post this when I am thinking of a good deacription of the food we had yesterday instead of just yummy, good and tasty!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lights on

Landing at night in mumbai makes me realise that somehow Singapore is too brightly lit.
Or maybe too bright that there is no mystery to the place.
I like the outlook of mumbai from above the sky.
Patches of light and patches of darkness seems so mysterious.
Its makes me wonder why and what are those places for since mumbai's land is almost crowded.
Are those the slums? Or just Undeveloped land?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Before India...

Here am I again on my second solo trip to India.
This time to be hosted by 2 awesome family. :)
A couple of dramas even before i touch India soil. My trip is already very exciting....

Scene 1: Mad Woman
I arrived at the Singapore Changi Aiport just 10min before the check in counter close.
So i end up running around like a mad woman in Terminal 1 trying to print my boarding pass and cling wrap my backpack (safety pre-caution since its gonna end up in kl & then only mumbai).
Here I must extend my deepest gratitude to the botak head gentleman who is d air asia ground staff (wearing blak uniform) to expedite my boarding pass an waited for me to check in my bag. :) You are awesomely helpful! Sorry i didn't get your name.
The coolest part- i still manage to catch my plane and the smoking room just next to my gate so i could relax for a bit before boarding. :)
Huff huff puff puff!!

Scene 2:Obviously I'm a Malaysian!! Duh!!

Touch down KL at 1310 BCU and went straight to the FLY THROUGH counter.
After all the formalities of processing my transit....
Me: can i go out and eat mary brown and then come back and catch my flight?
Lady1: yeah yeah u can. Just pass through there (pointing the departure terminal)

So i head to the departure terminal and end up at the departure baggage check counter.
Me: Cik saya dalam transit tapi saya nak keluar makan Mary Brown boleh?
Lady2: Boleh. Keluar aje la.

Went ahead and pass through the departure immigration counters. Note i am walking the opposite direction of all the people coz i am trying to exit the terminal.
Immigration officer (IO): Miss kau nak pergi mana?
Me: saya dalam transit tapi saya keluar makan Mary Brown.Saya punya flight pukul 6petang.
IO: Ini nak tanya saya punya boss. You tengok itu officer duduk atas sana, pegi tanya dia. Saya tak boleh tolo g. ( point me toward an elevated box with an officer seated inside - d BOSS$

Me: excuse me. Encik saya dalam transit ke bombay dari singapore. Flight saya pukul 6. So sekarang saya nak keluar makan.
Itu perempuan (pt to lady2)cakap saya boleh keluar sini.
IO BOSS: sini tak boleh cik. Cik kena pergi itu arrival hall untuk chop passport. Sini ialah departure. Kita tak boleh chop passport you. U turn balik pastu naik pergi arrival hall. Boleh keluar dari sana.

I already feel like a ping pong ball at this moment.

Went back to the FLY THROUGH office trying to

Asshole: awak nak pergi mana?
Me: *repeat the same old transit story n request*
Asshole: tak boleh! Awak pergi tanya itu air asia staff.
Me: tapi itu immigresen punya orang suruh saya keluar dari sini untuk chop passport.
Asshole: tak boleh awak pergi tanya it air asia staff.
Me: tanya ape?
Asshole: tanya dia orang mac mana nak buat la. Escort awak ke ape...awak sudah ada boardin pass. Tanya dia orang macam mana nak buat
Me: *getting cheese off* tried to explain that the IO boss asked me came this way and he rudely reject me and pushed me away.

So i am once again kicked out to another direction. Grab an Air Asia staff.
Me: *repeat: i am flew in from singapore, touch down kl n on transit to mumbai. My flight at 6pm. I wanna go out and eat. Went from the fly through counter to the departure hall and back. I am being denied my exit. That man say some AA staff need to escort me.
AA: no ma'am kita tak boleh escort escort.
Me: saya tak tahu. Itu orang suruh saya check dengan air asia staff.
Check apa pun saya tak tahu. Saya nak keluar makan.
AA: Awak pegang passport malaysia ke ape?
Me: ya la. Saya orang malaysia. (wth lor)
AA: u duduk dulu. Nanti saya panggil.

Sat for a while and realise tt AA man is busy with current departure flight.
Saw a security lady with an ang moh. I went near them. Oh so the lady speaks quite good english. :)

Me: excuse me, can you help me?
*repeat story for dunno how many times liao*
So saya ada empat jam duduk dalam sini. Itu speaker begitu kuat. Saya nak keluar dari sini then masuk balik la.
Lady3: ah ni passport malaysia ke ape?
Me: of course i am malaysian. Why is everybody ask me where am i from and wat is my nationality.and i dun understand why i need your help since he says i already have my boarding pass. Boarding pass is boarding pass it doesn't have anything to do with this ( seriously it starts to make no sense since i have been conversing to them in malay- bahasa pasar melayu... And they ask if i am malaysian?? Really cheese off)

So finally the AA man came back and asked me to go with him to the FLY THROUGH room.
So, the only thing the asshole wanna see is him escort me to the fly through room and just tell them i am passing through to arrival hall.
With that i follow my journey to exit the terminal.
Doesn't end here tho....

Arrival hall immgration counter. I gave my passport and am sure my passport sure got some error.

IO2: you dari mana?
Me: ok. Sebelum awak tanya, saya cerita dulu. Saya fly in dari singapore nak transit pergi mumbai.
Ini ialah boarding pass saya. So sekarang saya ada 4 jam, saya nak keluar pastu masuk terminal lagi untuk pergi mumbai. Saya nak makan.
IO2: *smile smile* and return my passport to me.
Me: wah macam ini main 1 jam ah. Saya sangat lapar tau. Thank you ah. (walking away)
IO2: bwahahahhaahhaah

Spent one hour trying to get out of terminal. Am a bit cheese off but seeing IO2 laugh, i know i made his day.
Ya i am hungry. So i really went to eat Mary Brown.

Chillin out at starbucks with free wifi. Double satisfaction!!

Now i wonder what surprise India will give me......

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Watch out this space for Mich Odyssey's update soon!

The journey is over.
One last destination to go.
To the Land of Smiles. 
Nothing much but just massage to ease off all the strains - physically & mentally.
The other thing is shopping to replace clothes that i repeatedly wore for the past 6 mths.
And lastly a holiday for Ah Pek.

I am contented.
I am back.

Are you ready to kepoh the juice of my travels?

Coming soon!