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The many faces of home

For those tuning in only now, I recently revamped how Everyday Asia is organised.

It is now ‘Home‘, ‘Away‘, ‘Work‘ and ‘Play… with a few other menu items like About, Quarterly Review and Start here..

You would think ‘Home‘ would be the easiest to do. Just slap on a new label to ‘Everyday India‘… except it raises a rather interesting question.. what and where is ‘home’… and why? (more…)

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Welcome home?

You know that special ‘Aaaahh…’ that comes from walking in your front door, flopping on your familiar sofa, making a home-cooked meal, sleeping in your own bed after a trip?

No matter how fun-filled, fabulous and remarkable the journey was, there is that sense of ‘rightness’ in coming home.

Unless your cosy sanctuary is in shambles, the kitchen inaccessible (let alone functioning), all careful efforts to keep furniture undamaged gleefully undermined, every single assurance the work would be done dashed.

Once upon a time this was a kitchen

Once upon a time this was a kitchen

In this case, for want of a 2 minute phone call, a 10 minute job with a $2 expense. (more…)

Swinging into Singapore – an ‘alternate’ home

Lately I’ve been caught calling Singapore my ‘alternate’ home…

My original home is Canada.

My adopted home is India.

My work home is often (happily!) Indonesia among many other countries across Asia.

However my international company is based in Singapore. It is my work hub, my frequent hop stop from various countries… and when I’m away too long, I get this itchy feeling… and my fingers reach out to book a flight!

Up in the air - again!

Up in the air – again!

So this week I’m off to Singapore for a mad time chock-full of all sorts of activities. A sneak peak into a few include:

  • Zip from airport to an evening of jazz with an old high school buddy
  • Co-facilitate a session at a Women’s Leadership Development workshop
  • Meetings, meetings and more meetings over coffee, lunch, more coffee, maybe some tea… with hopes something somewhere ‘clicks’ and there will be some interesting next steps
  • Slightly mind-numbing accounting and annual file preparation… ugh!
  • Feasting as food is just too good! And best accompanied with friends and general fun faffery
  • Explore a few whisky hot spots with more than one set of fabulous folks
  • Inspect (oops meet!) the new ‘man’ of a dear friend and see how the little one of another is growing up!
  • A stroll along the East Coast… just because I’m lucky enough to be staying nearby

Honestly… I can’t wait to get on that plane and plunge back into Singapore life for a few days.

And I know… none of this sounds like a wild ‘explore the world’ kinda trip. It is just catching up on regular life type activities.

Because after all… Singapore is my ‘alternate’ home.

Daily commute from the East Coast to CBD, Singapore

Daily commute from the East Coast to CBD, Singapore

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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…)

Fusion Soup – Massaman Pumpkin

One of the delightful things about living in Asia is access to a great variety of vegetables the easy way one can fuse flavours just by combining a little of this with a little of that!

While home, I had a hankering for pumpkin soup… but decided to give it a Thai twist! (more…)

Mmmmm….. mushroom soup!

It’s been awhile since I shared a recipe. So when I picked up a lovely bunch of mushrooms, it was clearly time to make soup!

Feel free to mix it up, however the basic recipe includes: (more…)

Winter is coming… so make soup!

Winter is coming to my ‘home town’ of Winnipeg… while here in my ‘adopted home’ Mumbai, it is perpetual summer. And yet I find myself in a strangely sentimental mood thinking about friends and family in colder climes. So, what to do? Make a ‘winter’ inspired soup, of course!

Winter is coming! (The Weather Network)

Winter is coming! (The Weather Network)

The trick with this ‘Winter soup’ is to predominantly use root vegetables. As with the ‘Sick Chick’ and Monsoon Soup, a pressure cooker makes all the difference.

Here are the ingredients: (more…)

Saying goodbye

One of the things that any immigrant or global citizen experiences is missing being ‘there’ for all life events that happen with family and friends. And even if still living in one’s country of birth, the reality today is that many families are scattered around a country too. So being able to say ‘goodbye’ to a loved one in person before they pass on is not always possible. I missed the funerals of both grandmothers – very different yet equally remarkable women.

One also learns to let go of things… after all how much can one really cart around the world? The alternative is to litter storage boxes in various locations and, as the years pass, the likelihood of retrieving them grows less and less. I’ve managed to restrict myself to storage at primarily two locations – my parents and sister’s homes. I harbour a dream to own a house large enough to have a library and ship all my books to where ever that ‘dream home’ will be! (more…)

House Cooling/Warming Part 2 – Special Paan

Wednesday’s “house-warming” was combined with the launch of The Bartender’s new video… The entire place was bursting with talent and instruments. Fabulous!

Sooooo.... NOT a cop!

Sooooo…. NOT a cop!

It was a riot seeing the video together with the folks involved in making it – lots of familiar faces! The video was shot walking distance from home… And features some of my favourite Bandra graffiti, brought to life digitally with funky eye googling! It is based on an old hindi film hit “Khaike Paan Banaraswala” re-interpreted “Bartender” style.

We all cracked up at the sadhu and cop parts especially. Vinay a sadhu?? Ramon a cop?? Impossible!! Far too zany to even be the caricature ‘cool dudes’ that burst forth after eating the special paan spiked with a secret transformative formula. (more…)

House Cooling/Warming Part 1 – Mumbai masquerades

Given a choice between socializing at public establishments or private homes – my vote is ‘house party’! And while average flat sizes in Mumbai are modest, there are some that are designed with ‘entertaining’ in mind!

We recently attended a ‘house cooling’ party in Mumbai. It wasn’t at all like the one I had in Winnipeg before moving back to India. Mine was a simple affair where the focus was valiant efforts  by one and all to empty the house of assorted bric-à-brac and demolish the booze cabinet! No one was permitted to stay with empty glass or leave empty-handed.

In the recent Bandra variant, there was certainly food and booze aplenty however it also featured a burlesque masque theme! Tonight is the same friend’s ‘house warming’ party and am looking forward to kicking off the “B-b-b-b-birthday celebrations – quintuple style” courtesy of his hosting skills! (more…)

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