Showing posts with label Travel: India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel: India. Show all posts

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mini Jeweled Booklets from India

I got these from India, aren't they cute?

They're mini jeweled notebooks the size of a keychain.

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And a jeweled mini hand-held mirror.

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At first I wanted to give them out as little giveaways on my blog to my readers, but then I thought my mom would appreciate them more as gifts to her little grand-nieces and nephews.

Turned out she didn't really appreciate them and even forgot to give them away on my part. :(

Le sigh~ Moms... I don't know what they're thinking sometimes. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Maharaja Mac Mcdonald India

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I made it a point to dine in every Mcdonald in countries around the world, and my latest expedition brought me to a Maharaja burger in New Delhi's Mcdonald, India.

India being India and beef being a big no-no in most meals, beefy Big Mac has morphed into the holy (and there lack of) Chicken Maharaja Mac.

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Fascinating taste. Refreshing and nice at first bite, simply because it's a new taste to me.
But it's not something I would order again.

The patties were soft, and not very chicken-y in my opinion. Very seasoned soft artificial flavoured patties. It's nice at first, but then it gets urgh as you munch on. :S

I also ordered another odd meal which was the Big Spicy Paneer Wrap.

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Which was REAAAAALLY SPICY. Oh god was it spicy. Not much other flavour other than spiciness.

Paneer is a form of soft white cheese that's very popular in Indian dish, it's sorta like cottage cheese.
It's basically a wrap with very little paneer and some tasteless chicken and lots of hot spice.
yuck.

Worth a try. You know, just for the sake of claiming you've had Maharaja burger. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Enlightenment of India

This has been an amazing trip. As you can tell that I've been rather absent from blogging. Hehe... Guilty as charged.

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Well, it has come to an end of my awesome journey in India. And I'm flying off back to reality tonight. Back to my work, to my paintings and my family and friends. Which I also missed dearly.

I made some new friends on this trip which I hoped to keep in touch and will be able to travel with again. I made some new discovery, about myself and my new perspective in life. I would say, it has been a really enlightening trip.

India, overall, has been more wonderful than I had anticipated.

Well, I had anticipated the pollution, the dirtyness, the touchy men, the sleazy pick up lines; but what I didn't anticipate was how insusceptible I was to Indian food. With all the Indian cuisine and curries I've been scoffing down on a daily basis, I was surprised I didn't even catch a single belly bug.

Though so far I've avoided street vendor food but I have taken food from stranger's hand and ate the whole glob down; to be fair, it was in a temple, and one of the cleanest temples I've stepped in in my life. Those sikhs can really keep their holy places clean.

I've been to the slums, and stepped over piles of children's shits (literally), gazed at the railway tracks in which they filmed "slumdog millionaire", calculated their living cost in those hands-me-down shabby shelters (which would range between 250-400 rupees, not more than RM24 per month), and more kids than I could count running everywhere, asking for 2 rupees for a photo of/with them; or a bottle of coke, or juice, or some candies. Anything you have was a luxury to these kids.

I will hold these memories dearly to my heart as I pack to leave for the airport, later tonight.
The toughness and harsh reality of poverty as a reminder to my blessings; and the wondrous cultural exposure that was so different to my own, or to anywhere I've ever been.

Either way, India has successfuly captured my heart. I felt myself falling in love with every growing seconds of staying in this country. I still know very little of this place, as I have admitted before; and despite that, it did it for me. With that I will depart with a heavy heart, hoping one day I will return, and soon; with more adventures in mind, more generosity to give and more stomach for their exotic spiciness.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Riding through India

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It’s been seven days riding through the desert region of Rajasthan of India with Jane and Angela; both acquaintances I met for the first time at KLIA an hour before departure.

It’s no easy task juggling between balancing my iPad on my lap and my eyesight on the road, our driver Dev Raj may be 51 years old with 32 years of driving experience under his belt, but he’s one heck of a maniac on the road; especially small narrow dingy congested roads filled with cows and gargantuan lorries; all while maintaining a steady speed of 100km/hr.

He has to be one of the safest sane road maniacs I know in India.

Today we’re spending seven hours on the road steering towards the jungle of Ranthambhore safaris; hopefully for some sights of wild tigers. After stuffing ourselves silly, and Dev Raj, with snacks, drinks and chocolates (not the healthiest to-go lunch), we’re now tucked up cool and comfortable underneath our shawls and jackets, surrounded by man-made tent we made out of our rented Innova; by attaching more scarfs and shawls against the windows to block out the ravenous sunlight of India.

Backpacking my ass.

So far, I’m safe from food poisoning, sun stroke or any form of diseases one might get out here, as far as I’m concerned anyway. Let’s hope it stays that way. And to my blessing, I’ve been indulging, more so than I’d like to admit, the wondrous Indian delicacies every single day since day two when I decided to order myself a plate of special Thali; and anxiously waited 24 hours after for any trip down hell a.k.a. toilet. Since then, it’s been meal after meal of mutton curries, kulfis, briyanis, cheese naans, etc. And yes, don’t forget canned diet coke which I absolutely cannot live without out here. NO ice, thank you.

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Special Thali

Good bye weight lose plan. Good bye budget spending.

Hello credit card bills.

Day two in India and I already busted my budget by paying off all the money I brought, and more, to an arranged tour around India, complete with a driver and a six-seater van (comfort does have a price). And got myself a designer saree worth USD190 that same night to be worn when visiting Taj Mahal; it’d better be worth it.

Though to be fair, and in my defence, we did get a fair price as compared to what we heard our friends paid when they travelled in India; despite the fact we weren’t really living in 4-5 star hotels. Anything with a clean bed, a decent toilet with hot shower and wifi is good enough for me; though we did had a pretty shit hotel that didn’t have any of those a few days back. Guess we can’t have it all. I’ll be happy enough if we can spot even a single tiger in the safari tomorrow.

In the meantime, it’s gonna take more than the days I had and have left to understand India. I’m still clueless about this country no less than before I arrived on this land.

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I have realised this though, Indian boys do seem to like to flirt a lot.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Delhi Belly Syndrome

It’s been more than two years since I’ve travelled over +3 time zone difference alone.

Though technically I was with two other travelling companions whom I’ve just met today; but sitting on the aisle seat all by myself did feel a bit nostalgic, a bit scared and a bit strange.

It’s been two years too long to know how this feels, which used to come so naturally.

For the first time for what seemed like forever, I was venturing into unchartered territory – India. The big peculiar unknown lies in the east to our west. It felt stranger to be venturing into a nation that was so similar to China in many sense but all so different together. For one thing, no one is going to look like me; well, 99.99% locals, at least.

I’ve heard so much about this place. The noise, the pollution, the delhi belly, the people, the taunts and tricks of making a living out of squeezing every penny out of you. There were two sides of stories from my peers, one of high praises of intense cultural exposure and food whoring; the other, well, of hell.
It’s not halfway across the globe, but it might as well be, I’ve never been more unfamiliar and anxious crash landing into this part of the world without any research at all; careless of me.

I suppose it’s a good sign that I didn’t find the plane ride, which composed of 90% Indians, less satisfying or comfortable than it should be; as opposed to what I’ve heard from a couple of friends, one a stewardess who swore the damn hell out of flight consist of mainly people of this part of the world, what with demanding passengers and very unaccommodating and loud attitudes, the other a travel junkie, mainly for business, seemed to have successfully convinced me my flight to New Delhi was going to be a pain; suddenly, flashes of my Nepal journey popped into mind then.

None of that; lavatories, for one, were still clean as spec halfway through the flight; which would not have been the case if it were a flight to or from China. The trip was in fact, thus far, a very peaceful flight; despite the hyperactive baby sitting next to me whom I’d sworn would be the living hell of my six hours journey, and who, surprisingly, fell into a deep coma as soon as the airbus was in the air. Nice baby.

And you know what the other good news is?

I’m writing again; as in really penning down my thoughts. This has not happen, except for the occasional rage rants, since the last time I lost my touch with life (abstract meaning here which you don’t need to know), then with travelling, and then with writing.

Maybe this isn’t going to be such a bad trip to start with afterall.
In the meantime, I’ll cross my fingers in case I have just jinxed myself.