Only In Dubai!

So I needed change for 200 bucks and I go into a coffee shop. I pick up a lollipop and give the lady the 200AED bill.

“Don’t you have any smaller bills Miss?”

“No, sorry!”

” Okay, just take the candy. I don’t have change”

#onlyindxb :D

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Nepal

I kept writing and re-writing this post cos there’s so much I want to talk about Nepal and there just isn’t enough space to write it all and make it readable! It was overwhelming, very much like India is, and the Himalayas are just so magnificent that it takes your breath away.

I was only there for 3 days, but I have over 500 photos! I think I might have gone a little overboard, but I just bought a new camera and just kept clicking! This also explains why some of my night pictures are blurry, cos I’m still learning how to work with the camera.

I’ve decided I’m going to let the pictures do the talking (mostly!), so here goes:

At Rum Doodle! :D

At Rum Doodle! :D

If you’re in Thamel (and you should go there if you’re in Kathmandu!), you should check out The Rum Doodle! It’s almost like a pilgrimage of sorts for mountain lovers, and it’s so much fun to read all the stuff people put up on the walls!

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Waking up at 5 to ready ourselves for a 6:30am flight over the Himalayas when it’s 4 deg C outside sounds like madness. But the views totally make up for everything! They give you a little pamphlet that contains a pictorial representation of all the peaks, and as you fly past them, the flight attendants point them all out to us.

The Himalayan ranges

The Himalayan ranges

The Himalayan ranges again... for real!

The Himalayan ranges again… for real!

That's Cloud Nine down there! :P

That’s Cloud Nine down there! :P

Flying over the heavens

Our pilot

View from the cockpit

View from the cockpit

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When I read about the Pashupathinath Temple, I wasn’t all that interested to check it out. But I’m so glad our guide took us there! It was fascinating!

We got there after dark, when it was near closing time, and I walked around the temple fascinated by the fact that there were more monkeys than people there! The monkeys ignored us and nonchalantly swung from columns to walls and scrambled up bell-ropes, the chimes of which added to the music I could hear playing somewhere farther away.

I followed the music to the back of the temple and stared down the balcony at a dead body, resting on the steps leading down to a pond. It was a cremation ground. The music was from a puja being conducted there.

A puja (prayer ritual) at the cremation ground outside the Pashupathinath temple

A puja (prayer ritual) at the cremation ground outside the Pashupathinath temple

Puja at the cremation ground

Puja at the cremation ground

I have a lot more pictures and scores of little experiences I’d like to talk about, cos Nepal is that kind of place, but I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much!

I have a lot more travel-stuff coming up as well, so stay posted! :)

Cheers!

On a Whim!

When I talk about our group trips to people, they always comment on how we all manage to plan our time off from work at the same time in order to go on a break together. But really, timing is of the least concern when planning such a trip. It is easy for people who don’t work at the same place to plan trips together. What really matters is that we share the same lust for travel and adventure. And the more people I meet who are amazed at our teamwork to put together such trips, the more I realize how lucky I am to have friends who are as crazy about travel as I am.

This fact was drilled down to me all the more when last week, when my friend S pinged us (in our whatsapp group chat) cos he was watching Zindagi na Milegi Dubara on TV. It was making him wanna take off on a holiday somewhere! That made me switch channels to the movie as well (for the uninitiated, the movie is about three friends who drive around Spain on their holiday), and watching the movie made me miss my holidays with the gang even more!  Our holiday in June seemed like a long time ago and our next big one was too far away to keep me at bay.

S said “Guys! Let’s go somewhere for the long weekend coming up in Dec!”  ” I’m iiiiiiiiin!” I chimed in enthusiastically! V and her husband Sp also agreed!! When his wife H said yes as well, S was taken aback! He hadn’t expected so many people to agree, least of all his wife, who is usually the practical one when it comes to such things! :D

We met up on Monday after work to discuss more and decide whether it was “practical” to do this. Of course… practicality was thrown to the winds. Someone said ” zindagi na milegi dubara” (ahem! could have been me, I’m filmier than the rest :P) and we took out our credit cards to seal the deal by booking the tickets. We got home late, after midnight, cos we were feverishly looking up cheap rates for good hotels and cheaper airfares to get us there!

Finally, a week down the line, there are 7 of us plus an enthusiastic toddler (how could she not be?! I’m her fairy god-mom of travel after all!), and we’re off to Nepal for the long weekend! :)

By the time you read this, I should be in Kathmandu, hopefully looking up at the Himalayas and sipping on chai. I’ll be back with updates and pics on the trip soon!

How often do you do something on a whim?

Dilon mein tum apni betaabiyan leke chal rahe ho, toh zinda ho tum.
Jo apni aankhon mein hairaniyan leke chal rahe ho, toh zinda ho tum

***

The hindi poem is by Gulzar, taken from the movie Zindagi na Milegi Dubara.