Back to the Blogosphere

Hello! Is anybody there?

So I finally thought it was time to come back to this blog after years and years of being quiet. I can say I didn’t update this blog all these years because I was busy and blah blah blah. But the truth is simple – my priorities changed. And boy did they change quickly and drastically!
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Bandung: A Volcano, Hot Springs, and lots of Free Time

“Rent a Car” and foreign exchange counters were the first things welcoming us as we walked out of the Jakarta airport in Indonesia. Ignoring the desperate calls of the car company representatives, we decided to first exchange our money. At the time (May 2011), CAD$1 would buy you around Indonesian Rs. 8,500. I exchanged about $100 and left the forex shop with a fat wallet full of rupiahs. It was hard to imagine where I’d spend 85,000 during the next two weeks in Indonesia. But I would soon learn that with water bottles priced at Rs.2,000 each, and a good meal easily costing Rs.20,000, I would spend it all plus much more. But hey it was still super cheap, so say the least.

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Stopover in Singapore

I started writing my Singapore journal thinking that it would be one my shortest blogposts. We barely spent three days there, I thought. As was the case in Hong Kong, the rising mercury had had no mercy on us. It was hot as hell, I recalled, which had prevented me from truly enjoying myself. But as I began to write, I realized how so very wrong I was! Everything I had seen in that short span of time came back to me: there was a museum shaped like a huge lotus flower… a theatre molded into a giant durian… a long bridge curving like the DNA Helix… a luxurious ship chilling on the heads of three tall buildings… and a jumbo-sized wheel looking over everything like a boss! This, my friends, is just a simplified description of the magnificence of downtown Singapore only. Wait till you hear what else makes this city-state a true modern Asian attraction.

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Exploring Xi’an – the Capital of the Past

Xi’an is where we saw the famous Terra Cotta Army, refreshed our childhood biking memories, and placed an order for halal food at a Chinese restaurant – that too in Arabic… And since Xi’an had so much to offer us, some of us decided to give back to this city by entertaining a large crowd of Chinese spectators at a musical fountain show!

The Train to Xi’an

From our hotel in Beijing, we had to run (each of us with backpacks weighing 15kg) to catch a bus to Beijing West Station for the overnight train to Xi’an.  I wanted to take a few pictures so I looked out the window of our cabin, only to find that the train was moving fast through a pitch dark forest under a pitch dark sky.  I remember wishing I hadn’t seen that.  The setting was just perfect for telling ghost stories and spirit calling.  We didn’t do any of those, but F did tell us some tales that managed to scare us quite a bit (some of us had to accompany each other to go use the washroom outside our cabin).  This fear factor aside, the train was one of the most comfortable ways I traveled on this trip.
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