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Friday, November 21, 2014

Dhobi Ghat Mumbai, India: Airing Your Dirty Laundry Here is Perfectly OK


In the song "Black Water" by the Doobie Brothers, Patrick Simmons sings about a trip he made to Uptown New Orleans to have his laundry done "Well if it rains, I don't care - Don't make no difference to me, Just take that street car that's goin' uptown". In a totally unrelated matter to the aforementioned American rock band, In the well known open air laundromat called the Dhobi Ghat, the similarly sounding Dhobis - a caste group in India known to work primarily as clothes-washers, can be seen anytime of the day washing and hanging dirty clothes along a  gigantic laundry space complete with wash pens and flagging stones. 

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Missing the Rustic Charm of my Colonial Home in Galle, Sri Lanka – Villa Templeberg


It was around lunch time while the sun was at its peak that I got off from my tuktuk at the roadside fronting a small hill. I followed my hastily written direction jotted down on a torn out paper that led me to a spiral trail leading to the top of a coconut plantation tucked inside a forest - to where I assumed the Templeberg Villa is perched. The 3 hour train ride from Colombo left me with high spirits as I enjoyed the scenery along the way - but comes with it, a weary body screaming for a soft bed and a short nap before I continue my exploration in the city of Galle. I hiked a couple hundred meters and while on the verge of huffing and puffing I saw a man by the door of what seemed to be Villa Templeberg. He waved at me and gestured something until he disappeared inside. 

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

My First Sense of Snow at Sapa, Vietnam


I know its 'winter' in the northern part of Vietnam at the time I arrived there middle of December last year. I remember sleeping at the airport upon arrival with two layers of jacket until I was woken up by a freezing burst of wind I thought was emanating from the air-conditioning system. I looked around and saw the source of the cold - the automatic door that remained open. When I arrived at the old french quarters of Hanoi that morning I welcomed the 12 degree Celsius cold with delight, it was my first time to experience that kind of cold - in a city setting outside of my trips to Sagada and Mount Pulag - which are both in the highlands, before. 

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Eat, Sleep, Relax and Repeat at Taal Vista Hotel on its 75th Year


"Next time we see those, can you please stop the car so I could take a picture" I said to Monnette as we make a pass at those colorful miniature windmills by the side of the road. We're in Tagaytay already and the sky can never get bluer than what is above us that day. If the air has a texture it would be two notch smoother than the air from where we came from. I've never spent a night at Tagaytay before, just a handful of daytrips and nary of a chance to wake and feel its morning dew on my feet. This time though, an invite to stay at Taal Vista Hotel will mark that first time. 

75
Welcoming guests since 1939