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Puuurrrfect Autumn in Amsterdam

As I enjoy a lazy Saturday in Mumbai with our kitten Zoe while my partner is busy on a chilly shoot in Manali, Himachal Pradesh, I was reminded of cooler climes during an autumn trip to Amsterdam (Nov 2014)… with a few non-human friends who tried to brighten and warm up our days!

More than just a cosy home, the Oosterpark AirBnB flat came replete with bright fall coloured garden and puuuurrrfectly friendly felines.

Off the living room was a delightful view of the garden… (more…)

Holi heat, wouldn’t it be nice to ice skate in Amsterdam?

After Holi, the temperature heats up in these parts. What that means now in Mumbai is getting increasingly warmer and humid. And if you are crazy enough to go out and about during the sunny day… let’s just say your sweat will sweat!

Oddly I used to be pretty ok with this. So I thought… til I realised that was because I used to work in nice air-conditioned offices and commute in my nice air-conditioned car. These days, operating from home and generally getting around by walking, rickshaws (and sometimes car) means no such daily respite.

Don’t get me wrong, I do NOT miss -40’c winter, and given a choice between sweating and freezing, I’ll take sweat! However there is a tiny part of me that can’t help but flirt with enjoying a little chill. (more…)

Sightseeing Amsterdam’s The Edge

Amsterdam is known for bicycles, canals, gorgeous historic buildings, cheese, fries with mayonnaise, beer, coffee shops & its red light district…

My last day took a bit of a departure from that list… with a rather modern edge!

It started with a delightful breakfast catch-up at a café in Oosterpark followed by a ride on the back of a bicycle to the metro. (pretty standard stuff so far)

And then?

Why naturally hop over to Amsterdam Zuid for lunch in the business district! Isn’t that everyone’s top destination?

Huh? (more…)

Amsterdam’s Bibliotheek + Conservatorium (new and old)

As I sip my morning coffee in Bombay, back to the sights, sounds and smells of India, it seems strange to think last weekend I was in Europe!

It was a brilliant impromptu trip with many wonderful moments. Lucky me, last Saturday a friend had time to show me slices of ‘her’ Amsterdam that I’d be unlikely to explore on my own…

While originally from Japan, she’s called Holland home for 30 years – lured by her love of Western classical music and art. (more…)

Strolling into a Marqt opening in Amsterdam

You know you are in Holland when… You feast your eyes on yummy cheese, cheese and more cheese!

Oooh baby! Bring on the fromage!!

Oooh baby! Bring on the fromage!!

This evening we were taking a post-late-lunch stroll and completely by chance, stumbled upon a new gourmet food store’s opening – Marqt on Linnaeusstraat. (more…)

Getting booted up for Amsterdam!

There is something quite absurd about buying boots in Bombay on a bright warm sunny day in a thin sleeveless t-shirt…

So why am I buying such footwear?

Last night I booked a flight and tomorrow I fly… and this time Europe (not Asia) is the lucky winner! (more…)

Incredible quiet… Happy Holi!

Blissful silence.

Yes it is already silly hot but there is something worth any sweat.

There is silence. Only the sound of the birds.

You have no idea how extraordinary that is!

Even the happy squeals of children playing Holi throwing powdered colours in the morning is gone.

And with water shortages, increased awareness about the toxicity in some dyes, this is a new and improved Holi with minimum mess.

Can you imagine? Some folks even played holi by throwing flower petals?

When you have lived with almost non-stop construction for years… the incredible calm of a full day holiday with ZERO noise is immense!

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Brazil beckons – what to do?

My partner and I decided to do something quite uncharacteristic. Actually plan a trip. As in advance plan. As in a trip which is purely for pleasure prompted by a friend’s wedding with zero work or family connect.

So far all we know is we need to be at Praia de Balneário Camboriú early December 2016.

Beyond that we know nothing. Have decided nothing. And are open to all possibilities.

Balneario Camboriu at night (praias-sc.com)

Balneario Camboriu at night (praias-sc.com)

Couples who travel together well tend to have one who delights in the planning process, figuring out options, tracking down great places to try, things to do. The other may have ideas which the planner takes into consideration, but is happiest just going along for the ride, enjoying the moment.

The challenge is between my partner and I, neither of us are the planning types.

Our travel tends to have a fixed requirement – work or family or event – where we throw in a dash of pleasure and detour or two for good measure. It also tends to be places where one or the other has some experience in the destination.

By contrast, our trips can also be completely impromptu jaunts to join friends in an amusing location where the ‘planning’ stage is restricted to reaching the destination – like my trips to Amsterdam, Goa and Vietnam.

Which works great for us and we have terrific travels – together and solo.

Til now…

Going all the way from India to Brazil means we cannot stop at the wedding alone! Noo… we simply MUST do something more. Who knows when we will next make it all the way to South America. Neither of us have ever been. But what? Where to start? What to do?

From Brazil, talk with another friend coming from India for the wedding turned to potential adventures in Peru, Argentina, Ecuador… um…

Clearly we need to do some research!

Any suggestions of  “must do” activities in Brazil? And “Wouldn’t it be fabulous to try…” in the region?

Cristo Luz (Wiki)

Cristo Luz (Wiki)

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Passport power… cross-border crossing from different countries

I wonder if there will ever come a day when the double standard of differential access to countries will cease?

I recently stumbled across an interesting info graphic by Rosie Spinks for GOOD Magazine. (see also a modified version below)

Rosie Spinks infographic in Good Magazine

Rosie Spinks infographic in Good Magazine

It poses the question, how powerful is your passport?

I never take for granted the privilege of possessing a Canadian passport or the opportunity to make India my adopted home.

However, just to put into perspective:

  • Canada has visa-free access to 170 countries around the world
  • Whereas India has visa-free access to only 52 countries

With a partner possessing an Indian passport, I witness regularly first-hand the additional steps required – most recently as he renewed his UK tourist visa for our upcoming Canada – UK trip.

Cross-border crossings for me are easy. For him, even though clearly he travels internationally regularly for work and pleasure, it is not so straightforward. I can take an impromptu trip to Amsterdam, whereas he cannot and most travel requires advance planning with visa applications.

So far, we are able to navigate these matters, however it breaks my heart to hear of stories where couples with different countries of origin, struggle… when love goes global, governments do not always agree!

I ask you then, what is your passport power? If you have someone else in your life, does your partner / spouse / significant other possess a different passport? How does that impact your lives?

Would love to hear your stories and invite guest posts – just drop me a line at info[at]everydayasia.com. 

Here is a version modified by move hub that may be a bit easier to read online:

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8th Quarter Summary – Who said turning two is terrible??

I can’t believe that Every Day Adventures in Asia (Mostly) is now two years old!!

What an amazing journey so far! With folks from nearly 150 countries tuning in, over 33,000 views and 2,200 comments, 220+ posts, 867 followers and counting… I’m still amazed the semi-regular ramblings of a Canadian woman about her every day life in Asia is of interest. (more…)

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