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Chor Bazaar pt. 2

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So here are the finds from the Bazaar.  I also wanted to show the  lion/horse from the temple next to my office :)

 

Chor Bazaar

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Chor Bazaar

I recently found myself in Mumbai for work. I go there about every 4-5 months. Usually I go Airport > Hotel> Jobsite> Hotel> repeat next day, until it’s off to the airport. As such I know very little of the city. This time, I manage to book to arrive on Sunday to have one day to explore. I had read about a place called Chor Bazaar. A mish-mash collection of streets where you can buy anything and everything. They were not kidding. In particular I wanted to visit the metal street and find a Elephant Bell, to add to the collection. The area is mostly a Muslim area and known for being a little consserative and when I asked the hotel concierge about getting there, he seemed concerned at first. He asked, “Who is going with you?” which I thought was a strange question. When I said just me, he seemed to relax some and say that was fine, he was just concerned if there were any women going because it’s a “conservative area” A shame it has that reputation, I  was lucky to be exempt from concern.

I got a taxi, who spoke no English, and after some Hind-Hindi-Hindi from the head guy at the Hotel driveway, we seemed to be off. Of course, just because something is famous on the internet, does not mean Unlce Taxi driver knows where it is…. I will say we have seen this multiple times, and it always surprises me. But in India, drivers will just pull over, stick their heads out and ask for directions. And strangers will help them! So, my taxi pulled over and did just that. After a few back and forth, we turned left, took a right, went straight and then suddenly he pulled over to the side and said here. Full stop. Cash was paid, I found myself on the street, taxi left and that was that. I’m here. Now what?

Well, with a little walking, I found my way and yes, I had been dropped at the correct location. Now, here I was at Chor Bazar.  Streets lined with shops, pilled with junk, with stray dogs, goats (yes, goats!), kids playing cricket, tuk-tuks, taxis, cars, scooters, and people all sharing the same road going about their business. Here I was indeed. Here I was, dress in shorts, feeling ever so Caucasian/Western, standing in the midst of this chaos with what seemed like every eye on the street upon me. Let me just mention, that it was hot that day, not crazy hot, but hot none the less. Indians don’t wear shorts. If my white skin made me stand out, then the addition of the shots only compounded that problem. It was all I could do not to say OK, I saw it, now take me back to the hotel. But I was on a mission. So I started wandering. A few nervous smiles and some hellos soon revealed that while a curiosity, aside from that, people could care less. People were happy to show me their wares and have me stop in the shops to look at the trinkets. It took about 2 blocks, but once the initial overwhelming chaos moved on, it did not seem as intimating as it had. They had a business, I had money, there are fiends to be made here.

The street I was walking was the metal street, which if you went one block left was then the tire district and one block after that became the market district and so on and so forth. I also found the “architectural salvage, wood carving, and antiquities” area, which I immediately fell in love with. After some wandering, it seemed it was not in the cards for me to find an elephant bell, but I did not walk away empty handed. I did find two lovely wooden carvings. One is a parrot from an area in India called Kerla. The other is a wooden bracket from a building (unsure where) from Tamil Nadu, another region in India. The bracket is a horse and a lion combined. Funny enough, I was walking past the temple near my office in Singapore and looked up and saw the same type of figure! I’ve walked past that temple for 2 years now and never noticed. Small world.

All in all a great trip and I look forward to visiting the area again, who knows what I might find.

 

 

 

Bali time (again)

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Bali time (again)

We took another trip to Bali recently. Well, I took a long weekend, Paul took 5 days. It seems he could carry over some vacation time from last year, but only until March, so he HAD to take some time off or lose the days he had left over from last year. Tough life right?

Well, what better place to burn some vacation time than our favorite island, Bali. Paul headed to Ubud for some R&R and then came down to Nusa Dua to stay at the Conrad where I joined him. Since I was only there for Friday night thru Sunday we just planned one outing on Saturday. We book a boat and went snorkeling in Lemogwan, which is  a short boat ride from the main island. We spent the day snorkeling at three different sight, followed by a nice lunch at a beach shack (nasi goreng, yum!) and then a sea kayak tour thru a nearby mangrove. A fun filled, and tiring Saturday. Sunday was spent lazing about the pool and truly relaxing.

I must say I was in love with the landscaping at the Conrad, they did an amazing job with little areas to explore and discover during the day and the night.

The snorkeling was great. Crystal clear water, lots of fish, and a nice treat.

Three Years!

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Well hello there! My sincere apologies for being absent, we’ve found ourselves working too much, and not taking enough fun trips. Or is it vice versa?

Not much has happened recently, but I do have a few things to catch up on.

First and most important we have now been in Singapore for 3 YEARS! Wow. Who would have thought huh? Not too shabby I must say. Things continue as ever. Making new friends, trying new food, exploring the region and having fun while doing it. Also, sometimes we go to work during the week to pay for all that fun.

So, here’s to Year Three, and the adventures it has in store for us.

 

Morning Visitor

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We had a quick morning visitor the other day. He does not stop by often, in fact only twice in the three years we have lived there, but always a pleasure to see him, even if he does not stay long….

 

Hornbill toucan Singapore

Lion Dance Competition

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We made it to the Lion Dance this year. We’ve always been travelling before (if you can imagine) but this year found us in town, and able to finally able to check it out. I must say the groups at the competition are much better than ones you get at openings during the typical CNY celebrations. These guys were jumping and leaping on poles raised in the centre of the stage area. The competitors came from all over SE Asia and put on quite a show. If you have not seen one before, the ‘lion’ consist of two guys, the back and the front. They form a the lion, who dances and jumps to a very long drum/gong/cymbal beat in a ceremony to bring good luck and fortune to a place (office, home, retail). The Lion goes thru a little dance each time. There’s always a treat left as an offering for the lion to discover, so when it starts the lion dances around, at then ‘spots’ the offering and does a happy dance around it.

Queenstown wrap up

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A few pics to wrap up our visit to Queenstown.

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