Sunday, December 7, 2014

Rambly Brambly

My poor neglected blog!

I've been travelling a lot in the last quarter, hence been too zonked out to write anything. I had actually written a post on how to travel light with only a cabin bag, but I had to trash this because in one of my travels, I shopped too much and had to end up checking in my bag. I'm quite annoyed about this - my goal for next year is to start living a nice minimalist life again (which I keep saying, but keep getting derailed) and not have to check in bags anymore.

Man, I hate checking in bags. Waiting for them is such a waste of time, and ever since I discovered small sized hairsprays that I can bring on in a cabin bag, I've never seen the need to check in (unless it's for winter in Europe).

I've been to a few countries over the past months - Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. They were all travels for work, but I will definitely be going back to Vietnam for another trip. I felt so much better in Vietnam compared to Thailand, where the taxi drivers are a real scammy lot. It's amazing how you can be at a taxi stand that's being regulated by a guy who's insisting they use meters, and when you get in the cab, he refuses to use a meter and wants a flat rate. Jeez. Getting cabs in Bangkok this time around was a really huge pain - and I'm a little surprised. It's the 4th time I was in Bangkok this year (actually this quarter! All my trips were somehow smooshed together!) and I never remembered it being this painful to a) get a cab b) not get cheated. Bangkok also feels way too touristy and commercialized, although I have to say their malls are way better to shop than in Singapore. Singapore on a weekend is just a nightmare to shop - you're battling all these throngs of people!

I fell in love with Vietnamese food and their people - the taste of food was so delicate but flavorful at the same time. The people were very friendly, despite not speaking a lot of English. The team I met in Vietnam was also amazing, so this is probably why I left Vietnam with such a markedly good impression.

This time around in Bangkok, we didn't do much and instead spent more time trawling behind back alleys and more non-touristy places and neighbourhoods. We found a little cafe that had good food in a quiet neighbourhood that reminded me so much of my life back in Petaling Jaya. It's funny, because when you think of Bangkok you think of this crazy, frenetic pace and energy, but it was a nice quiet weekend for us (other than constantly having to argue with taxi drivers).

I didn't get to see much of Manila because timing was really tight, but the Philippines team gave me a goody bag of all kinds of local delicacies. I was so happy because I saw they had my favourite dried mango in there. I planned to get more at the airport, but unfortunately for me I was stuck at the worst terminal in the world which only had a Starbucks. No mango in sight. Bloody hell. The food in Philippines was so good - it's so hearty and filling, and it's kind of like the people. Everyone there seems so friendly and warm, and it might sound weird, but their food kind of gives you that same kind of vibe.

This was my first weekend back in Singapore doing absolutely nothing for quite a while, and it was blissful. I took leave on Friday, and solely spent it doing chores at home. This might sound terrible but I thoroughly enjoyed it because I really miss my little house!

This blog post is rambly and about nothing, but it just feels nice to write again and to catch up with my blog. I guess it's a little bit of a pointless catch up, but pleasant (for me) nevertheless.

I wish everyone a wonderful week ahead!