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Spice Island gets some rec

1 Dec

Grenada’s on National Geographic’s list of best trips for 2013!

This was my home for a year!

I’ve been thinking of Grenada a lot lately. Maybe I’ll head back there for a rotation soon, or better yet just a plain old vacation-style visit.

Bless Grenada.

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1 Dec

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It may be cold but there is snow on the ground and the people feel so normal.

beautiful bali

27 Jul

My mom and I are on the last leg of our Asia extravaganza trip: Bali.

It’s not like us (i.e. I feel slightly embarrassed admitting this), but we booked 4 nights in an all-inclusive spa resort. It was a 3 hour drive from the airport through steep mountain roads that were just a van-tumble away from rice terraces, and just a mis-step from village doorsteps. The driving was crazy and very much reminded me of Grenada. Really though, even the 3 hours drive was beautiful. I loved seeing the villages, temples, and wacky motorcyclists driving with babies on their laps. I was pinching my arm every time I felt we were getting a little too close to killing or being killed, but my mom seemed to enjoy the ride, chatting with our driver and sucking on ginger candy.

This resort is amazing, of course. I have been a lump being massaged, napping, rolling myself into the pool, and going for a dip in the ocean to check out the fish. They provided simple tan coloured clothes for us to wear if we like, which my mom has been enjoying even though they were Large (and today, gave us XXL). She looks so happy striding around the little compound, being so grateful to everyone, speaking so slowly and with a big smile. Precious mamabird! People just lie about by the pool, get up to eat at the restaurant, then head back to the pool for a nap. When my mom and I were exploring the compound, seeing my mom check out every nook and cranny, I thought that this was like pre-school for adults. It helps that my mom is just a bit taller than child-sized.

Anyway, there are no TVs in the rooms and only 1 place with wireless. There are no clocks and there’s lots of chatting with staff. I appreciate that they try to make this resort more like a community or village. Be cynical if you want, of course everyone’s happy while on vacation, but it’s good to see my mom smiling so genuinely and really enjoying herself.

Thanks Bali!

malaysia food

24 Jul

no more mangosteens or rambutan left in malaysia. they are all in my belly.

i didn’t look up much about malaysia before i came here, to visit my mom’s cousin. but it’s a Muslim country. the last time i was in a muslim country was last year when a few friends and I went to Morocco after exams. I really enjoyed being in not just a culture but a whole country that was centered around a different religion. It’s one of those experiences that makes you realize the things you take as a given in your life – like living in countries that are primarily Christian. It’s refreshing to be somewhere with a strong religious culture that’s different. I’ve also wondered what it’d be like to be in a Muslim country during Ramadan. Well it’s Ramadan but things seem to be about the same as usual, according to my family here. Maybe some shops a little quieter during the day. Tonight we’re going to a Ramadan buffet. I’m thinking it’ll be the same as what i’m used to but different. People are just people I bet, and like their buffets big and nice.

My first night in KL, my family took me on a drive around the city. In a matter of 10-15 minutes, we had visited 2 buddhist temples, 1 hindu temple, passed by a few mosques and a church. My aunt said that there haven’t been any wars fought over religion here. I thought how it’d be cool to grow up here, perhaps then you’d have a wider world-view. But through conversations with a few of my family members, I can see how it can also have the opposite effect, when people stereotype more and stay even more within their own ethnic communities.

Ads Seen: Hong Kong

21 Jul

Hong Kong has tons of plastic surgery ads everywhere.

Some slogans include “iLike 4S (shape, success, smile, slim)” with each S written under a picture of a different body part (a bum, a thigh, a smile, a tummy). I’m waiting for the iLike 5S to come out so I can get the iLike 4S for cheap off craigslist.

There’s also “Become Perfect” which I mistook for a wedding boutique ad at first (that would also be a little messed up) because it has a picture of a woman in a lavish white gown gazing into a gilded gold mirror, with a man in a suit peeping over her shoulder. He’s also looking into the mirror, and holding a pen up to the woman’s cheek. To draw the surgical cut lines, I presume.

Reminds me of the huge ads in the Air Canada Center advertising sportswear for women – a t-shirt that says “Future Trophy Wife”. Awesome!

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