Showing posts from January, 2008

postcard from j: sex and the city of angels?

Sky's the limit
Sunday was reserved for Chatuchak but the market wasn't so great. So, we had our breakfast and headed to Nana station to board the BTS or Sky Train. Our destination: Central World Mall - another huge mall.

Taking the train was a nice experience. We climbed up a bridge to the ticket counter where we got change to insert into the slots. A ticket was printed and out it came! At the platform, the train arrived soon enough and there were so many tourists on it. Just three stops to our station - Chit Lom.

I've been very impressed with Bangkok's transport system and also its road sense (see pic). Wish Mumbai could have been this way!

At Central World, the mall looked deserted - well, that's not surprising as there were only big brands there. Prada and the like! Even the discounts were not that enticing. We stopped at the food court and I had a 'moo-yong' - some sort of a pork roll. The Thai sure love their pork a lot. Then we had to try some yummy Haag…

postcard from j: a dose of the spiritual

Breakfast - here we come!
We were scheduled to leave from the hotel at 8:30 am. A note received yesterday said we should be ready by 8. Waking up early in the morning on a holiday can be such a task. Managed to drag ourselves to the AM Cafe on the ground floor of our hotel to have breakfast.

Well, it should be renamed "breakFEAST". Bread, eggs (any way you want: scrambled, double fried, sunny-side-up, boiled), muffins, sausages, beef pastrami (YUMMY!), chicken-somethings, croissants, waffles, French toast, juice/tea/coffee, fruits... and even vegetarian Indian fare like aloo gobi ;)

A round flattish bread called 'naan bread' was amazing to have after filling it up with pastrami and ham. We even tried to sneak out a few muffins so we could eat later (considering we barely had time to have a leisurely breakfast). A nasty-looking stewardess saw us and said we couldn't do that - yes, it was embarrassing but then, with a breakfast fit for royalty and with prices for good…

postcard from j: sawasdee khap, thailand!

Arrival at the Suvarnabhoomi Airport in Bangkok was a relatively good experience. The airport was really humongous, clean and well-maintained. Even though it was quite early in the morning (around 5 or 6 am), the place was buzzing with activity. Since Thailand lets tourists get their visas on arrival, we went in search of the Visa counter. Visa formalities were a breeze (Thanks Naveen… for insisting on just getting them done in Bangkok). Immigration check done and with my first stamp on my passport, I set foot in another country. Super!

David, where art thou?
We had a bit of confusion with our contact point for the transfer to the hotel. We had made bookings for hotels/transfers/some sightseeing with Thomas Cook. At $250 per head, I say we got a good deal from them. And our airfare roughly worked out to INR 18000 per head through an online booking with Indiatimes Travel. As per the Thomas Cook document, we were to go to a specific point and look for a certain Mr. David. Kept going back…

postcard from j: flight to the finish

Jan 3, 2008, 10:20 PM (IST) - We're inside the Mumbai International Airport; actually, been here for a while now. Waiting for our call! Finished with the usual formalities: baggage check-in, got our boarding passes. We felt a little hungry all of a sudden, so we found this food counter and picked up a chapatti roll with chicken filling. Plus we had some wafers that Sneha's mum had brought for us.

Airport Watch
What is it that people enjoy the most? People-watching, obviously! At the airport, one encounters all kinds from the human species. Seen the usual firangs - some snoring away blissfully in their sleeping bags, some lugging their backpacks, and then some strolling around in their Oshos. And of course, we have our national treasures - the woman with the fake American accent returning to "New Yaaark", the dressed up Gujju ben dragging her annoyingly noisy trolley bag, the long-haired greying Ashok Amritraj-lookalike, a suspicious-looking Mallu, lots of kiddies in th…

postcard from j: thaindians

After months of research and planning, it's finally D-Day. Three pilgrims are about to leave for the "Land of Smiles". Well, atleast that's what Thailand is called. An 8-day trip, but it needs so much attention. The excitement hasn't really hit me yet.

It's around 4 PM. Some lady from Air India calls. Our flight, which was originally set to take off at 2350 hours, is now going to be 30 minutes earlier. Wow, that's a first! I've just finished packing one bagful of clothes and toiletries, checked essential stuff like passport, tickets, foreign exchange, credit cards, camera, etc. I've only got a few more things to squeeze in. Must remember to carry my black sandals and what else....

Hmmm... yes, this is my first trip outside the country and hopefully, the first of many. The only dampener around this time is the amount of tax getting deducted every month from my salary. I mean, what's the point of working so hard if you just keep shelling out your …