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Mumbai monsoons…

I returned from Singapore to a muggy Mumbai… the kind of weather where you feel sluggish and slow.

I also returned with a freshly injured ankle, so put myself under ‘house arrest’. Which meant an opportunity to witness our living room be transformed into

  • A salon for theatrical readings of new plays my partner is planning to produce…
  • A film set where our bookshelves became backdrop to a short scene
  • An impromptu evening of merriment (my favourite kind!)

While I busied myself with post-Singapore trip follow-up, plunged into the depths of accounts (ugh!), day after day, we had no respite from the humid heat. Teasingly, rains would come only at night where the drop in temperature had negligible impact.

Each morning our maid would share her impatience for the rains…  everyone knows how important a good monsoon is to the people and economy of this country. A poor monsoon is devastating. A good monsoon brings prosperity.

Early this morning the heavens opened and the deluge began… and didn’t stop… I think it’s safe to say hello monsoon! Welcome back and may you shower us with blessings this year!

Monsoon evening sky...

Monsoon evening sky…

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Demolition gang!

Once upon a time there was a lovely little sanctuary. A cosy home much beloved by its inhabitants. Favourite of all was a delightful den where they would rest their weary heads each and every night.

Then along came the dastardly demolition gang who, with raw might, destroyed their happy little nest. No corner was immune to the unrelenting pounding and bashing!

Welcome to our new reality…What was only yesterday our bedroom. (more…)

A proper “princess” penthouse pad!

My "princess" pad

My “princess” pad

While I’ve said enough about being aghast at discovering I’ve become a picky princess when it comes to places to stay, my adventures in Jakarta house hunting experienced a temporary reprieve with the discovery of a short-term studio apartment in CityLofts Sudirman.

It is connected to CityWalk Mall – full of restaurants, cafes, wine bars and even has a Whiskey Baron (my whisky aficionado side is intrigued tho have yet to try!). Nearby are more independent high-end restaurants for those moments of extra indulgence – my 1st day here went to Harum Manis – what a delicious feast!

The view is spectacular and my photos don’t even come close to doing it justice. Being here during Lebaran was such a treat as I watched all the fireworks from exhaulted heights! Comfortable, spacious for a studio, high-speed internet, lovely pool, my caffeine addiction was fully supported with a large French press and great cafes downstairs.

(more…)

Adventures in Jakarta apartment hunting

So the Jakarta accommodation saga continues… The “Princess” now has to admit, this hotel is growing on me. After getting out and about a couple of times, realised the ability to walk to the office is PURE GOLD! The gym is well-equipped, the food is good (today’s lunch was gado-gado), staff super nice and the poolside terrace restaurant really quite lovely.

Poolside gado gado - yum!

Poolside gado gado – yum!

With a change in room, no more shower head battles, figuring out how to turn the A/C off, making peace with acrobatic contortions under the table to use the single power point, getting the telephone and wi-fi fixed, buying sundry toiletries, am now quite comfortable.

Especially when I started to explore the alternatives… Apartment hunting with Lebaran (Eid al-Fitre) around the corner is well…. just silly! (more…)

When a “princess” finds a million a night just not good enough!

Somewhere along the way I got spoilt. I still camp, but now its luxury. Flights? I usually travel economy, yet as a Gold Privilege member with lounge access. Hotels? For years it’s been 5 stars or modern, stylish boutique 4 stars.

For our Jakarta project, we have a budget of IDR 1,000,000/night (US$100) which can, in a pinch, be stretched to IDR 1,300,000 inclusive of all taxes. The goal is to spend much less, shifting to apartments rather than hotels after the first trip. With advance research and inputs from a few friends, I planned to check into a newer serviced apartment (Morrissey), supposedly in a lively part of town, with a rate quoted significantly below our limit.

Then tales of terrible traffic poured in from all corners with warnings to avoid travel as much as possible. Followed by the update that project cohorts with extensive experience in Jakarta elected to try a 4 star hotel suggested by the client as convenient to the office – as in 15 mins walking distance close. Particularly at the beginning of the project, seemed a rather sensible option.

Just from the website, it was obvious this 4 star has seen better days. And then I checked in to my room… (more…)

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