Thursday, December 29, 2011


I'm finally back home! Too lazy to pen a proper post but I think these things are brilliant:

1. If you're at the Delhi airport T3 and sick of Indian food, check out Smoke House. Had a really yummy smoked tomato and brie sandwich and pretty decent mojitos there. Do not bother with Indian wines (they suck).

2. Have 3 drinks and pop a melatonin and you'll conk out during the flight. Best combo ever.

3. Ear plugs. Oh my, why haven't I discovered these before? Especially useful because flights to and from India are usually SO noisy. While I could still hear the high pitched shrieking of Indian girls laughing and chatting across the aisle, the ear plugs managed to reduce quite a fair bit of the noise.

4. If you're a parent, seat your children together and then take your own seat 10 rows behind. You don't need to look after the buggers but yet you're close enough if there's an emergency,

Stuff no one talks about:

1. OMG the pong. I didn't realise how badly I reeked till I landed in Singapore and was waiting for LGG to buy breakfast. I do not look forward to opening my backpack.

2. Hello, Sasquatch. Being all bundled up during winter and taking 2 minute long showers means that you tend to neglect certain grooming habits.

3. Airplanes have really, really dry air. I think my throat got dried out during the flight and now I'm coughing. Drinking two bottles of water during the flight apparently wasn't enough.


Anyway I'm lying strarkers in bed and trying to muster up the energy to get changed for work. 2 more working days till the new year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Welcome to Delhi

After spending three idyllic days in a tea plantation off Siliguri (which shall remain unnamed to keep the place a secret), we are now back in Delhi. Ugh.

After the pristine, clean air that surrounded the tea plantation and the rejuvenating silence and peacefulness away from the hustle and bustle of the city, we are now surrounded by smog and the incessant honking and noises of Delhi.

One huge difference is that my snot is now specked with black. Gross.

The tea plantation was amazing, and if I had the chance to go back again, I would. What made it so special was that we went during low season, so we had the entire bungalow to ourselves. I'm not sure if our experience would have been so good if there were other guests in the house (probably not).

We spent our breakfasts in the garden, lying on the grass after, just basking in the sun. The only time we were actually hot in winter. Lol. I found a sofa in the house by the bay windows, where sunlight was streaming in, and that became one of my favourite spots.

When the day became cool, we proceeded to the living room, armed with blankets, books and hot tea. We read and watched tv and napped.

Our meals were all provided and we had the most amazing Indian food, probably the healthiest that any of us have ever had in India. Low salt, low fat, and yet still exceptionally tasty. How awesome is that?

We've now a couple more days to go before heading home, so gotta plan where and what to do. Oh, and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's A Balmy Day

Who woulda thunk that we'd be using the word "balmy" to describe the 7 degree temperature in Delhi right now? Lol.

"It's -4 now, but a balmy 7 degrees in Delhi now." Lol.

Well I guess we are getting used to the cold.

Monday, December 19, 2011

So Cold

We got back from Pelling today and are back in Darjeeling, sitting in the dining room and watching the fire burn in the fireplace.

It's so cold. One night the temperature went down to -14 degrees celcius. But thank god for fireplaces, heaters, fleeces and sleeping bags.

Pelling was a little bit of a letdown. There weren't as much to do as we thought but we did get a spectacular sunrise view of Kangchendzonga from our room.

We also discovered chaang aka tongba- the local moonshine that was made by pouring hot water into fermented millet and drinking it through a bamboo straw.

Did a day tour around to various sights, and then headed back to Darjeeling today.

Waiting for dinner and then off to bed.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

To Pelling

One of the downsides to traveling the way we do from town to town is having to pack up and travel to the next place. We're off to Pelling today, and apparently it's a 5-6 hour drive from here.

Better pee before we leave. Lol.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day Two

Or is it day three already? It's so easy to lose track of time when you're in a place like Darjeeling.

Spent the evening yesterday in the dining room of our hotel where we had a lovely fireplace up. Plus, there was free wifi, so all of us managed to get our internet fix.

Didn't seem like we did all that much today but time just seemed to pass so fast. Took the joyride on the toy train to Ghum / Ghoom and back, went to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and had tea at the Windemere Hotel.

And that's about it. Bought a shawl from a tout at the train station who was trying to sell them at 8000 rupees. I told her I'd buy it for 150 rupees and ta ma de, eventually she agreed. So I had to buy it even though I don't need a shawl, and found out later that you could buy the same shawl at the market for 90 rupees. Ta ma de.

Ah well.

Off to Pelling tomorrow!


Ok I know we're here during winter but it is so cold here in Darjeeling. OMG.

Was on the road yesterday, flying from Singapore to Delhi, and then from Delhi to Bagdobra. Then it was a good 6 hour and really bumpy car ride to Darjeeling.

Have I mentioned that it's cold? (It's really cold.)

Spent this morning unwilling to get out of the warm coccoon of the sleeping bag that we thankfully brought along. Walked around the bazaar, bought tickets for the toy train ride, got our permits for Sikkim, checked out the bookstore, had breakfast and lunch at Hasty Tasty and bought gloves and beanies.

Still deciding what to do for the rest of the trip but it's been chill (haha) so far. Probably will head up to Peling and do some trekking. But it's so cold. Lol.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

India. Again.

For someone who professes to hate India as much as I do, it seems rather puzzling that I keep going back. First Ladakh in August, and now I'm heading there for another two weeks (aka 14 days aka 840 min aka too long.. and I think my calculation is wrong).

But how fitting that the first time LGG and I go to India together is also our "Indian finale". We've been to India somany times, and I think we're done. There are new lands to discover!

Ah well. I hope we have a good trip. Would always be good to end everything on a good note.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


This has been a hard post to pen, because the year didn't quite turn out the way I thought it would. It started off well enough, but my relationship with the grasshopper ended in April. While I wouldn't say it went all downhill from there (there definitely have been some awesome moments), it was a tough year.

Breakups are always hard, and this one hit me quite badly for several reasons. Firstly it was rather unexpected, coming at a time that I thought we were gaining ground and strength in the relationship (but obviously I was the only one who felt that way). Secondly, it was the sheer disrespectful way he decided to terminate it (By email. Man, I certainly deserve better). Thirdly,.. ah forget it.

But life goes on, and setbacks are a perfect time to witness the love and support I have in my family and friends. And I must say that I've got plenty.

I made my first trip to Perth in twenty years this June, and got to spend time with my brother and his family. Quality time getting to know him and my sister-in-law better, and plenty of hugs and kisses for the little ones. Also got to hang out with my cousins and aunties too, which was just awesome.

One of the things Jeanne said that really sunk in was that the money spent could always be earned back (I had been complaining about the exhange rates and comparing how little I used to spend in India cos everything there was just so cheap). The time and the love that you get from family is really quite priceless, and this was something I truly experienced once I got to Perth.

Went to India for work and crumbled several times, but msn is an amazing thing and everyone who was online was just an amazing source of support. CH even offered to fly in to Bangalore to be with me, which was an unexpected and very generous offer. *love*

Took some time off after my last India trip and extended my stay to head to Ladakh with TFP. While I wish I had the company of LGG and the posse, the scenery was breathtaking and I even managed to tick off some things off my list (camel shadow pic, plucking a radish, and what I thought was snow). Magical.

More work trips to Indonesia, and with a new and experienced boss on board, it was nice to be able to learn more about my market and discuss initiative and ideas on how to increase awareness and quality.

Went back to Perth again, this time with the entire Lee clan. More bonding with the family, my first visit to the casino, had my silly accident, and now it's already December. Phew! How time flies. (And yay I'm healing quite nicely. Thank god for awesome genes.)

One last trip in December. Finally going to freeze our asses off in Darjeeling and Sikkim. And then it'll be 2012. Gulp.

To be honest 2011 hasn't been the best year, but, whatever. It could have been worse and I did do a fair bit of traveling, so I can't really complain. I do hope 2012 is a better year though.

Let's see.

Monday, December 5, 2011

One Step Forward Two Steps Back

My skin seemed to be recovering well over the weekend after I ripped off all the dressings and left it out to dry. However, I accidentally ripped the wound open (was not careful argh) and it started bleeding.

Stupid me thought it was a good idea to cover up with dressing, but now the whole damn thing is wet and leaky AGAIN. Argh.

I need to get well soon! 9 more days till we fly off and I do not want to have to deal with this then. Gah.