Everyday Asia

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Night sky in Singapore

While I am completely happy in our home in Mumbai, we do not have a ‘view’. Our choice of location was motivated purely by practicality – close to the highway to scoot to the airport or other parts and close to my partner’s mother.

On my December trip to Singapore, I stayed one night with a friend in ‘CBD’. We went to see the documentary ‘Naked DJ‘ at the Singapore International Film Festival then returned to this view. It was a most enjoyable evening sitting and chatting on the rather large balcony, with the evening lights our backdrop.

2015-12-02 Singapore Night

I’ve had the privilege of many fabulous views on my stays in various cities. Do you have a favourite?

Other Sunday Snaps:

Mmmmm mangosteens! In Bangkok

When you travel a lot, little extras in places you rest your weary head start to make a difference. Like a luscious exotic fruit plate.

What is even nicer is when there is a little help to navigate the delicacies offered… like this hotel from a stay in Bangkok in 2013 that had a menu card with explanation, how to eat and what you could expect trying the fruit.

Hotel fruit plate

The SukhoThai’s fruit plate

Me? I sooooo knew what I was diving into! From that tempting bowl, I went straight for the mangosteens.

Mangosteens have been a favourite since I first strolled with a friend in Singapore through a market in China Town. She made me buy a full bag – warning me that I would never be able to stop with just one.

She was completely right!

That sweet, tangy, juicy oh so yummy fruit… I’m craving it right now just looking at these photos, imagining that plump white pulp bursting into flavour in my mouth.

Mangosteen

Mangosteen demolished

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Big B in Bandra

India’s greatest superstar of all time remains the “Big B.”

For those who never heard of Bollywood (is that possible?), Amitabh Bachchan, is the ‘angry young man’ who took Hindi films by storm in the 1970s and 80s. Who made “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?) the ONLY show you heard blaring from every single home, with streets deserted so all and sundry could be glued to the TV set. Who remains film royalty even in his 70s.

Amitabh Bacchan (Aug2013)

Part of the Bollywood Art Project, this image can be found strolling along the bi-lanes of Bandra.

Other Sunday Snaps:

“When is duck not duck?” In Bombay

So… when is duck not duck?

It could be a fish if you live in Mumbai!

I first had ‘Bombay Duck‘ in New York when visiting a Parsi friend from Mumbai. It was masala dried – stinky, chewy, very different but also quite good.

Then I moved to Bombay and discovered fresh bombil, deep-fried is beyond yum! If ever asked what goes superbly with a chilled beer? The answer is ‘Bombil Fry‘ aka ‘Bombay Duck.’

When a duck ain't a duck

When a duck ain’t a duck

Bombil  is actually a lizardfish… uh yeah… this duck is now actually a lizard? What is it with the misleading names and this fish?

It is rather popular with folks from Maharashtra… and the dried form is privately ‘smuggled’ across borders – hence my tasting contraband ‘Bombay Duck’ in New York back in the early 90s.

Any food in your ‘hood’ with a misleading name?

I’ve also come across :

Other Sunday Snaps:

Vienna Store’s Elephant Sized Surprise

Once upon a time there was a humble store on Hill Road in Bandra, Mumbai, India.

Then along came an artist who transformed it into a great big happy blue elephant! Festooned with red, this pachyderm attracts smiles from passerbys.

Vienna Store

Vienna Store, Bandra, Mumbai

A young friend recounted the tale how excited she was to check out this amazing quaint little place.

And what exactly is it? A cheerful cafe? A cute curio shop? An artful daycare?

Nope!

It sell eggs. As in wholesale eggs. As in cartons and cartons of eggs. That’s it.

They say not to judge a book by its cover but… in this case one can be forgiven for not instantly connecting elephants with eggs!

Related posts:

Punjabi khaana in Delhi!

When traveling, a gal has got to eat! In 2015, I had several trips to Delhi. Normally I keep it a quick ‘grab and go’ kinda meal unless it is a sit down business lunch or dinner.

However during my December trip, with the chill in the air and a little time on my hands between meetings I had a ‘proper’ sit down Punjabi lunch with chole (chickpeas), laccha parantha, pickles and salad. It was simple and completely satisfying!

Punjabi lunch

Punjabi lunch

Now I’ve ordered hot chole bhatura from a local dhaba in Bandra and have even been known to make it at home from time to time… however it is just not the same as the spicy tangy incredibly delicious version most joints make in Delhi.

There are lots of other amazing Punjabi dishes… any other favourites out there? Ones that are simply not quite the same outside of either someone’s home or a particular location?

Related posts:

“It’s the coconut man!” in Delhi

One of the delights about living in Asia is access to an array of fresh food. Pure and unadulterated.

In Canada if you want coconut water? You get it from a can or a drink box imported from Asia.

In India, if you want coconut water? The coconut man brings it fresh to your door.

You can sip it with a straw or even have it in a glass if you prefer (why?).

He’ll then ask if you want the ‘meat’ and proceed to take part of the coconut shell to scoop out and roughly chop all that good stuff so it is easy to eat as is or store to have later.

Practically everything from the coconut can be used.

2015-12-18 Coconut man

Related posts:

“What the heck?” in Mumbai

Are these a new art installation? Some fancy creative contraption? Preparing for the space age piping?

All around our building these shiny new objects attached themselves to our pipes…

2015-12-21 Mayur Rats

2015-12-21 Mayur Rats2

For those not familiar with life in Mumbai, you may be forgiven for your confusion.

After all, their purpose may simply not be required in your parts.

However for us? Let’s just say there was more than one reason we decided to welcome a kitten into our home. It was also in hopes that she would be a good mouse (or rat… or bandicoot) catcher!

Particularly since all the construction, let’s just say that the rodents of the neighbourhood have become rather adept at scurrying up our pipes. Those of us on the lower floors in particular are prone as they climb up and then hop through windows into homes full of all sorts of goodies.

But since these suckers came up? Not one rodent. Phew! Simple yet effective.

Any other unique ways of keeping rodents and other pesky creatures at bay in your home?

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…)

Introducing Sunday Snaps

Over the last few years, I’ve snapped a lot of random pictures that capture a short story or glimpse into everyday life both in Bombay, in my travels around India and Asia.

Most of them end up my DropBox photos folder – neatly labeled by year, month and location. In short – stored but forgotten.

Then along came a notice warning me that my ‘free’ extra 48 GB was expiring. Dropping me from 57 GB of space to 9 GB. And my current ‘usage’ a whopping 43 GB. Oops!

Sure I could just dump everything on a hard drive and be done with it. However I decided to do a little photographic ‘spring cleaning’… deleting many, saving a few and selecting a choice pic or two to share these ‘everyday’ images.

Welcome to ‘Sunday Snap Stories’…. just an image (or two) with a simple thought (or story) to share a little insight into something you could stumble across around the corner from home in Bandra, Mumbai or traipsing around India.

First up? A typical Mumbai skyline shot of the Bandra-Worli SeaLink taken from a friend’s home.

Sealink

PS This also celebrate’s Everyday Asia’s 300th post! Woo hoo!!

Related posts:

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