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Showing posts from May, 2008

Parallel Universe

Before I came to Cambodia, the thought crossed my mind that this trip would provide an excellent bit of impetus to my blogging. That is, I dreamed of writing posts furiously through the night... posts which had breathtaking detail in every line, startling observations, eye-catching photos, insightful observations and so on and so forth. For a time, as I made my way from Birmingham to Phnom Penh, there were plenty of the above resulting in an update every few days. The wheels came off that literary wagon the day I landed here.

Ironic, I know. However, as I wrote and deleted words, lines and paragraphs time and again over the last 2 weeks, I decided one thing - the next post would not be the typical read comparing different worlds, talking about culture shock and whatnot. What will I be writing about then ? Hmm...

One thing I did notice... it's easier to find and move into a new house the second time around. After having gone through that circus in the U.S, finding an apartment and d…

Transit tales - 3

A small observation.

On multiple occasions, I've looked nay stared at what passes for vegetarian food during flights. There's some dubious looking salad consisting chiefly of lettuce leaves. There's the coffee cream. There's the cold noodles. And there's the jello. I will look at the said menu, look at the stewardess who will look back at me challengingly and ask me what I'd like to drink. Ahem...

So, while I'm gloomily masticating on a combination of jello & coffee cream, the matriarch sitting a few seats to the left is ploughing her way through the 'asian' veg menu. From what I've seen in the past, this sacrifices taste for recognizability i.e. you can swear to the fact that there is a roti, some rice and chole on your plate, but a bite of any of them will make you pause, chew slowly and thoughtfully and eventually swallow.

But it sure beats eating the jello + coffee cream, let me tell you.

So, this time I was determined. Come what may, I was…

Transit tales - 2

Gate 46, Terminal E2, HKG Airport:

Landing at an airport betwixt the mountains and the sea should conjure up an atmosphere of wistful romanticism & it would have done so, were it not for one trivial detail.

Hong Kong (HK) airport at 5:30 am is enveloped in a pea-soup blanket of fog effectively obscuring practically all of the coast and most of the mountains. Still, I'm here; HK, China, South Asia - legendary lands of Oriental mystery and pizazz (okay, so I just wanted that word in there). After the drabness of LAX, this airport albeit an airport, is almost incomparably better. It's cheery looking, seemingly efficient and no, I am not being paid to write this.

I read somewhere that it's the largest airport in the world and it occurred to me that money has been well spent. Of course, the constant sombre reminders about the colour of the national security threat level (you figure it out) have now been replaced by the repeated squawks imploring all and sundry to watch their s…

Transit tales - 1

LAX, Tom Bradley International Terminal:Readers, the horse before the cart as it were. This piece was born as I finally managed to catch my breath at the Cathay Pacific departure lounge at LAX, awaiting my flight to Hong Kong. An eyebrow may just have been delicately raised as you question my need to ‘catch my breath’. After all, how taxing is checking in for a flight? And this is where, on cue, I introduce you to Los Angeles International Airport or LAX as it is popularly abbreviated. As I make my way to S.E Asia, I’ve understandably seen quite a few airports on my way. And I haven’t left the U.S.A yet. Birmingham has a nice, small, no hassle airport. Houston seems to follow that accepted dictate about all things Texan – it’s huge. And, this in itself was no problem, but the bright boys who designed it decided, for some inexplicable reason to completely abandon the idea of escalators… you know, those moving paths / thingummys. Astute reader, you have guessed correctly. Long, tiring p…


Next post, from Phnom Penh, Cambodia...

Song for the moment:Further to fly - Simon and Garfunkel

The big crash

There are moments in life when a resigned shrug of the shoulders is just about all you can come up with.

For example, I cannot help but wonder what I'm getting myself into when I realize my anti-malarial medication dose (21 tablets over 5 months) costs more than my digital camera.

And my car, now that I think of it.

Song for the moment:Heebie Jeebies - Louis Armstrong

Don't look back in anger

Some time last month, we guys noticed a few wisps of dried grass and twigs on the porch-light outside our front door. It was attributed to some messy bird and we left it at that. As the days went by, those random blades of grass began to take shape and before the week was out, the builder of what was now a very pretty nest, had settled down to do whatever birds do in nests. Initially, the spot she chose seemed to be a terrible decision; people would waltz in and out at all hours & the bird naturally flew off every time the door was opened. Which was often, so I'm rather surprised she didn't attack anyone out of sheer exasperation.

Eventually (yes, yes Pavlov... you have been vindicated. Stop with the victory jig, already!!) she was convinced that none of the shady looking specimens approaching were interested either in her or anything else that may be in the nest (we haven't checked). These days, the bird doesn't even bother to move when anyone shows up, preferring …