A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for August, 2015

My very own 50 shades of grey

Posted by Pepper on August 26, 2015

Two years ago, I wrote this post. I spoke about the three strands of grey hair I had then. Let’s cut to the present. I now have a head that has an infinite number of grey strands. Infinite additions in just a little over 700 days. How much grey must I have sprouted per day then! Sometimes I wonder, how did that happen?

They say stress accelerates greying. Well, there is no denying that in the past year and a half, my body has been subjected to an alarming level of stress. I have undergone a lot. What with Oregano’s kidney failure, recurring problems and subsequent transplant, daddy’s health faltering, his hospitalisation, the waiting game outside the ICU that used to make my heart pound hard against my chest, facing the big question of whether or not he would make it, the sighting of a doctor accompanied by a delirious heart beat as we waited to hear their verdict on his condition, the trauma of his passing away, my papa’s sudden ill health, his hospitalisation, the sudden, enormous responsibility of running a company, I think I was sucked into a whirlpool of stress.

Thankfully, my life is back on track. I am in a happy space. My dad has recovered and we are all well. Having said that, I don’t know if I can overlook all that I have been through. Sometimes, I believe that phase caused some irreversible changes in me. Not just emotionally, but physically too. I have become prone to sudden bouts of palpitations and irregular heart beats.

Work also ends up tiring me out completely. I do try to not let the tension build up in my system, but I have often wished I could take a sabbatical from work, get a few months off to unwind, incorporate meditation and regular exercise into my life and bring in a sense of calmness. Unfortunately, with the current state of affairs at work, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Anyway, going by my lifestyle and my history, I shouldn’t be surprised by the amount of grey that has appeared. Other than the stress, I also suffer from various vitamin and mineral deficiencies. I began to to take my supplements seriously, only to lose steam in a month and after missing a few consecutive doses, all my determination went kaput. Note to self – Restart supplements.

Coming back to the grey, I feel awfully disturbed each time people react to it. I have had friends who see my hair and go, ‘Oh my God! You have so much grey hair!’. The shock and exclamation in their tone makes me supremely conscious and I almost think of ways to cover or hide my hair from their view. I need to learn to deal with this better. Because, clearly, people will not change the way they react to it.

It really sucks that my mother-in-law does not have a single strand of grey at 58, whereas I, despite being under 30 have a million. People tend to compare and I feel like smacking them and telling them I didn’t get my genes from my in-laws. I got them from my parents. My mother has been suffering from premature greying from the time she was a teen. I need to be thankful I didn’t have to undergo it from such an early age.

I’m not entirely sure where I am going with this post. I just wanted to write about how disturbed I feel with the emergence of all this grey and the reactions it garners. On one hand I am struggling to accept my adult hood, on the other hand, my body is showing signs that translate to old age. It is just too much to cope. I am struggling already, please don’t make it worse with your reactions.

On some days I wonder what world I am caught in. I keep seeing flashes of my happy and carefree childhood. I see myself riding my bicycle in our apartment premises, my friends calling out to me from the ground floor, asking me to come down to play, the shuttle cock landing in some aunty’s balcony. I take several such trips. My brain freezes these memories so that I can savour them just a little more…

And then I have to snap out of that world and return to this world, full of responsibilities, exhaustion and grey hair.

A friend sent this image and I thought there couldn’t be a more apt description of how I feel.

Adult

Posted in Er-rant-ic behaviour | 44 Comments »

Thoughts on education

Posted by Pepper on August 20, 2015

Towards the end of my last post, I said ‘It makes me sad when I realise that quality education in India is only for the privileged. I know we will never be able to afford this school for our future child. This is such a flawed system. But well, that is a post for another day..

I had no intention of crystallizing my thoughts and writing a post on this subject soon. ‘Another day’ was far away. But I found myself writing *a very long* response to a comment from Hidden Passions. The length of my comment was equivalent to a lengthy post. So I thought I should probably just share my views in a separate post here, instead of replying to her individually. After all, that was a part of my long term agenda anyway.

For the sake of convenience, I am reposting HP’s comment here.

“I agree that some kids get better education over others depending on how rich one’s parents are. You are 100% right there is lot of inequality. No one wants to admit that it is not equal society.

But, here is the thing, one need not go to school for us to have a successful society. Some times, education can be waste of money and time for some. The trade/skill can be learned from their family or opportunities around to live a successful life, that does not mean that they should not be given the opportunity in the first place. The government spends ton of money on education, those public schools, IIT’s , IIM’s, all other colleges, does it mean that you want to get in free for nothing? society pays for it in the form of taxes. Do I have to pay for others in return for nothing? . There is no ideal solution for this problem.

There is limit for everything, and only some people can get into it. There are central government run schools and the students are well groomed for a very nominal fees, for instance kendriya vidyalaya’s, bhartiya vidya bhavan’s, army, navy schools and many such schools exists? they are open to common people as well, and if they can get into it, they are no less than many people educated at high-profile private institutions. Infact, I met many successful people who got their education entirely from government institutes, in some sense they know more about hard work and hardship with limited resources and are giving back to society in some or the other form. Does it mean, only by sending kids to those international schools be the kids successful? are there any statistics to back it ?

Overall, IMHO – there is price one should pay to get something. After all, nothing comes for free. Some one has to pay price for it somewhere.”

For easy reference, I am going to be sharing my thoughts and responses to her views by extracting parts of her comment. My responses are to HP, because I am copying the comment I composed. Her comment and its extracts have been made bold.

‘here is the thing, one need not go to school for us to have a successful society. Some times, education can be waste of money and time for some. The trade/skill can be learned from their family or opportunities around to live a successful life’

What does education mean to you? Do you believe the purpose of education is only to enable you to earn a livelihood? Sure, like you say, a trade or a skill can be acquired through family expertise. In fact, I am a big believer of informal learning and education. That skill you acquire may actually turn into your profession. You do not necessarily need formal schooling to earn money.

But is education all about the power to earn? For me, the answer is a resounding ‘No!’. I think a good education teaches you how to think, question and evaluate the choices we make in our everyday life. It teaches you to be imaginative and makes you explore new ideas. It makes you truly progress.

We are all products of our learning and education (both formal and informal). Yet, we’ve all seen ‘highly educated’ people living lives guided by their very narrow thinking. Gender biases, disparity, lack of logic, misogyny, disrespect for the environment, blind adherence to regressive customs are all factors that rule their lives.

How do you explain educated people behaving like that? I think it is because our education only gave us information on different subjects. It only taught us what to think. Not how to think. Indian education system syllabus encourages rote learning. We are given data and are asked to memorize it. We are never taught how to use that data. We’ve never really been taught how to think. You don’t need fancy schools to have a good education, even home schooling can work wonders, as long as you are exposed to quality education.

You’ve said that, ‘The trade/skill can be learned from their family or opportunities around to live a successful life’. What does a ‘successful life’ mean to you? Rather, what does a successful society mean to you? One which boasts of 100% employment? Or what is your idea? Do you think Indian society is successful? If yes, what does it owe its success to? If not, what do you think is the problem?

I have a feeling our definitions of ‘education’ and ‘successful society’ differ. Because unlike you, I will never believe education can be a waste of time and money for anybody.

The government spends ton of money on education, those public schools, IIT’s , IIM’s, all other colleges, does it mean that you want to get in free for nothing? society pays for it in the form of taxes. Do I have to pay for others in return for nothing? . There is no ideal solution for this problem.”

I’m sorry, the Government does not spend tons of money on education. And even if you believe they do, the outcome is still far from desirable. Have you ever stepped inside a free public school run by the Government? These are institutes where slum kids and other underprivileged sections of our society study. These schools are falling apart, quite literally. The lack of infrastructure aside, the quality of education they provide is highly inferior. The teachers in these schools are barely paid. They have no interest in their jobs. Most are not even qualified enough to teach. The lack of quality is clearly visible. My helper’s son who goes to one such school is in the 8th grade and he is still incapable of doing simple Math and calculations. He can’t speak a line of English despite having that as a subject for 10 years. They are hardly taught well in school, he says. The teachers in these schools are absent a lot and kids run wild. Since the staff is so underpaid, they take on other odd jobs to fill the gap and neglect the school as a result.

I don’t care if colleges are made free. And by the way, despite the few examples you have cited, most colleges are not free either. Not everybody gets into an IIT or an IIM. (Are they even free?) But I would rather have everybody pay for their own college, but basic education (until school) should be accessible to ALL.

Please tell me, how do you expect people to break out of this vicious cycle of poverty without access to a good education? Yes, society pays for it in the form of tax. I will be happy if they allocate a higher budget for education out of the tax I have already paid. In fact, I may even be willing to pay a slightly higher tax if they improve public education in India. If they do that, then I can send my child to a good public school for free, rather than me using that money for paying my child’s school fees in an upscale private school.

We need all classes of society (including the underprivileged) to progress parallelly. It is a flawed system if only one segment of society progresses. That is what I see happening in India right now. Where did the statement, ‘Do I have to pay for others in return for nothing?’ come from? If I am paying the same amount (whether it is in the form of tax to the Government or fees to a private school), I am saying I would rather use the money I have to ensure education reaches everybody, rather than it reaching only MY child.  Do you really believe investing money in educating a society gives you nothing in return? That is such a flawed premise.

There are central government run schools and the students are well groomed for a very nominal fees, for instance kendriya vidyalaya’s, bhartiya vidya bhavan’s, army, navy schools and many such schools exists?

I think you have failed to recognize the notable difference between centrally run Government schools and State run Government schools. The KVs and other schools you have mentioned are centrally run, they are much better funded, because the Government has different motives for funding them. State run and local Government schools are almost always facing a resource crunch. They are in dilapidated states. I think this article explains the reasons for the stark difference in treatment between a Central and State run Government school quite well.

So tell me, how many good centrally run Government schools do we have in India? Compare the number of these schools to the population of the country and you will know what I mean. We don’t have enough of those schools to match the populations’ needs and demands. Most underprivileged kids have no means to even afford public transport. They walk long distances to get themselves to the nearest free school, which in most cases is run by the state or local Government. So if you are trying to tell me that our masses do have access to good education, I will disagree with you, strongly.

Moreover, you have also mentioned that the centrally run Government schools produce students who are ‘well groomed’. Again, this may be true, but I think it is also debatable. It depends on how we both define ‘well groomed’. Even if the students are what you believe, well groomed, I still believe these schools and our education system does not teach us how to think.

Infact, I met many successful people who got their education entirely from government institutes,

I think you mean to say you’ve met people from these schools who are well placed professionally. But ‘successful’? I think I use a different yardstick to measure success and professional life is just one aspect of it, it is not the whole definition for me. So how successful these people are is a matter of personal perception.

Does it mean, only by sending kids to those international schools be the kids successful? are there any statistics to back it ?

Please point out to me and let me know where I said this? I don’t think I said something even close to this.

What I said was the opposite. I said I feel sad that quality education is available only to the privileged. I said that I see international schools (and other elite boards) providing the kind of quality education that I believe should be provided to all. Since my sister works as a teacher in one such school, I have first hand information on their teaching methods. These schools do indeed teach you how to think. The young minds are stimulated in different ways. I think it produces individuals who are truly intellectual, open minded and well-rounded, not just individuals who are knowledgeable and informed.

Right now, only a small class of our population is privy to this kind of education. I believe our education system needs an overhaul. If our education truly teaches us how to think, I believe it will eradicate a lot of the problems that are so deeply woven into our society.

Overall, IMHO – there is price one should pay to get something. After all, nothing comes for free. Some one has to pay price for it somewhere.”

Sure, nothing comes for free. That approach is typical of a capitalist economy. While I may agree with that in other areas, I will never agree with that line of thought when it comes to education. Higher education can be paid for, but I will always believe basic education until school should be a fundamental right of every citizen. I know this is debatable but it is something I feel very strongly about. Every child deserves equal opportunity. Your circumstances of birth should not decide your destiny.

***

PS – The sister has volunteered for Teach for India, where in she was teaching in a state run Government school for a while. She has personal experience working with and teaching kids of truck drivers, domestic helpers and other menial workers from lower strata of society. She also has witnessed first hand, the practical problems faced by this segment and understands deeply why the present state of the free locally run Government schools is not helping them. She knows where the gaps lie. The views I have expressed have been backed by her personal experiences.

Posted in A penny for my thoughts, Life in India | 41 Comments »

Catch up

Posted by Pepper on August 16, 2015

Since I have neglected this space over the past few weeks (or months?), a catch up is due. Here’s a toast to my rambles. *Clink*

So from where do I begin? Right. I’ll try chronicling my life from the time I returned from California.

Well, the day after I landed, I was greeted with some sullen news. Our car had met with an accident. A bad accident on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. I was horrified. I asked my dad why he had not informed me earlier. The answer was something I should have guessed. He said he didn’t want to spoil our trip. I was perturbed. Had he told me while I was there, I would have had Mint by my side and we could have grappled with the news together. Now I was alone, Mint was still in California. It made me feel worse.

I am not going to get into details on how the accident occurred. It was pure bad luck. Let me just say my dad decided to use our car for some reason. But here is the worst part. Our car insurance had expired just a few days before this. We had decided to come back from the US and renew it, since we thought nobody would be driving the car in our absence anyway. My dad didn’t know about the expired insurance and he used the car. As luck would have it, it met with a bad accident. I know I should have been extremely thankful that my dad escaped without any injuries, but at that point, I was blinded by a strange force. It made me feel very resentful.  Thankfully, I have returned to my senses. I still feel really bad when I think of the huge loss we have incurred (no, we’re just not letting my dad pay for this), but I am so very grateful that my precious papa is okay.

I had hoped to send our car for repair as soon as Mint got back to Mumbai, but though it has been some time since he returned, our car is still lying in it’s mangled state. Mr. Mint has been unable to decide whether we should give it to mechanic A or mechanic B. That is so typical of him. Ask him to make a decision and he will tear himself apart. Every fiber will be dissected at infinite levels. The pros and cons will be weighed with minuscule precision. A ton of time will be wasted. Sigh. What do I do with him?

Anyway, in a happy twist, S mummy decided that she wanted to gift us daddy’s car that had been lying unused. We were a bit overwhelmed. Ever since, we’ve been using that car. While I am happy we haven’t been carless, the lack of inconvenience gives Mint more time to mull over his decision (which mechanic, remember?), and that grates on my nerves.

While we were trying to wade out of the mess that the car accident had created, our bed broke. I really wondered, what the hell was going on. How much money were we supposed to spend on fixing broken things in this period? The fact that we had bought this bed just about 6 months ago, got us all the more worked up. Serves us right for choosing the cheap model, knowing well that the quality was sub standard.

The bed has broken in such a way, we’re not even sure it can be repaired. As of now, we’ve been sleeping in the other bedroom, which has a sofa cum bed. Not very comfortable, but we’re managing. Moreover, the news of our bed breaking has resulted in our friends asking us inappropriate questions about how me managed to achieve this feat. I suspect people believe we take kinky to a new level. I wish the truth was as exciting as that, but no sir, the bed broke while we were dumping our junk in the storage section. How boring..

In other news, Oregano finally left for the US for his MS, two weeks ago. I will probably dedicate a separate post to this, but for now, I wanted to mention how happy his new life is making me. He’s been having a great time and the sound of his exciting life brings me such joy. See, it is possible to have a very happy ending despite all the turbulence we face. Oregano is proof. He deserves every bit of this happiness.

Talking about happy things, we replaced our cook. The new one we employed is a sweet old Gujrati lady. I am thrilled to come home to delectable theplas, handwas, and other Gujju delights. I have a new found love for Gujrati cuisine. Food. It is my eternal source of pleasure.

While I love the food she cooks, my problem with cooks remains the same. Most cooks only know how to make Indian food. I enjoy it but I can’t eat Indian food day and night, everyday. Our family needs some stir-frys, pastas, bakes, etc every now and then. So we end up cooking on our own fairly often. On those days, either her role is limited to chopping, or she gets free holidays. Since it is a choice we’ve made, I don’t have much right to complain.

Lastly, the big news is that the sister started her first job. She had been aspiring for and training to be a teacher for the longest time. She now works as a teacher in probably the most elite school in Mumbai. One in which almost every star kid studies. I get to hear interesting anecdotes of her interactions with these ‘star kids’, belonging to the Bollywood family.

I am also bowled over by the quality of education they provide. Their method of teaching and the syllabus they follow focuses on overall brain development. The learning is not one dimensional. One mention of the school fees and all jaws drop. It makes me sad when I realise that quality education in India is only for the privileged. I know we will never be able to afford this school for our future child. This is such a flawed system. But well, that is a post for another day..

Anyway, I think I have rambled enough for the day. The bed beckons. Good night!

Posted in The black hole | 29 Comments »

And if you want these kind of dreams.. It’s Californication!

Posted by Pepper on August 11, 2015

I could feel the flutter of the butterflies in my tummy when I heard the announcement. It had been over 20 hours of flying time. How much I had longed to hear those words. And finally, here they were. I couldn’t contain my excitement. Time to fasten our seat belts. We would be landing in San Francisco shortly. How long had it been since I had left that place? And yet, it felt like I was revisiting an old home. I couldn’t wait to meet and reconnecting with my past.

Ofcourse, I was delighted to see Mint after 2 weeks. But in all honesty, I was more delighted by the thought of actually being in the Bay Area. We drove out of the airport and I couldn’t stop beaming at the sight of the very familiar free ways. When I think back, I realise I was soaking in the simple joy of being in that place through out my trip.

We reached our apartment that would be our home for the next few weeks. I gasped. The area we would be living in was a little too upscale for me to wrap my head around. Such a prime locality! Right in the heart of downtown SF. There is no way we would have been able to afford living in a place like this on our own. This place was paid for by Mint’s company. For a moment, I wished we could have been given the money instead of the very posh apartment that cost an obscene amount. How much would we have saved? Anyway, since there was no way we could make that possible, I decided to make full use of the opportunity of living there. Although we had lived in the Bay Area for several years, we had never lived in the heart of San Francisco. I would make sure I explore the city to the fullest.

The first few days of my trip went by in a haze. I was too jet lagged to do much. I decided to put off the catch up sessions with friends for the next couple of days. I wanted to focus on the food and just get some rest. My first stop was Chipotle. Oh, how much I had missed this. As expected, I over ate. This, after I had already had a very big breakfast of avocado toasts, frittatas with feta and sun-dried tomatoes served with jalapeno jelly and the most delicious blue berry pancake. I told myself to go easy. How much could my stomach handle? But it was hard to stop. There were too many places I wanted to eat in. And the never ending conflict we faced? Should we revisit our old favourite restaurants or should we explore and try new ones? We decided to fit in as much as possible. We over ate during every meal. Not surprisingly, I fell ill after a point and spent the next 2 days taking it easy.

Mint was at work every day until evening and I had chosen that time to go around the city by myself. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I was swamped with work. We faced some last minute issues in a project I was working on. I would wake up to a flood of emails everyday. So I spent the first half of my days working. I would walk to Mint’s office in the afternoons and we would lunch at a good place. He would come home early in the evening and we would set out to meet friends, or shop for tidbits and to dine at yet another favourite place.

Friends. We realised we had too many friends to meet and not enough time. Other than that, we also had close family. I was ecstatic to meet some old friends and catch up with my cousins. But I wanted to do more in our trip than just meet people. Our other problem was that most of our friends lived in the South Bay while we were living in the city. Needless to say, we spent a large chuck of our time commuting and catching up with people.

Towards the end of my first week there, I started feeling jittery. I realised we had been taking no pictures. I also wanted to do the typical touristy things. Walk around Fisherman’s wharf. Pier 39. Tour the Golden Gate bridge. Visit Crooked street. And so on. Mint was very taken aback by my demands. Haven’t we seen all those places a hundred times already? He asked. It was true. We had. When we lived in the Bay Area, I was rather sick of those places. Every time friends or family visited us, we had to take them on an obligatory tour and visit the said places over and over again. We were bored of them. And now, I was wanting to do the touristy things myself. I’m not sure why.

I guess a part of me felt like an insider and the other part felt like a mere visitor. I was trapped between these two conflicting emotions. Although I did know the place like an insider, although I couldn’t call myself a tourist in a place I had lived in for years, I couldn’t deny being a mere visitor this time. I tried telling Mint we should take many pictures. Pictures of what? He would ask. “We only seem to be going to restaurants. What do you want to click? I am not interested in doing touristy things”. He said that he was however ‘willing’ to do them if that is what I really wanted. I decided to take up the offer, even if it wasn’t a very enthusiastic one.

And so the days rolled by. We ate some fabulous meals, met friends, hung out at our old addas, bought little things every other day, raided Trader Joes, visited some tourist spots, rekindled some old memories, created new ones and just immersed ourselves in a certain unspeakable joy. I had gotten used to that life, replete with good food and happy times. There were no responsibilities. We even had assigned help who took care of the cleaning and tidying up of our apartment. We just had a toss a dirty utensil in the sink and the dishes would be gleaming the next day. Fresh towels would find their way to our bathroom. The pillows would be fluffed and bed sheets would be straightened when we returned home. Like magic.I really could get used to living like that.

Before we realised it, it was time for me to leave. We had been shopping all day and I had an early morning flight the next day. I was utterly exhausted. Shopping tires me out and makes me irritable. I was longing to climb into bed and ready myself for the endless flight. But I knew I couldn’t leave the Bay Area until I had paid homage to a certain place. If I didn’t visit this place, I would have left with a feeling of incompleteness.

I am talking about our old home in the Bay Area, one we lived in for all those years. By the time we drove into our (former?) area, I was squealing. ‘Look, this is the route I took everyday to pick you up from the Bart station’, I told Mint. ‘Oh, look, this is where we did our grocery!’. It went on. Every little corner had a memory attached. By the time we got to our block and saw our apartment, I was delirious.

Even the very non sentimental Mint was looking at our apartment complex with dreamy eyes. I wanted to take a picture of the gate but Mint told we would be reported for suspicious criminal activity. I took a quick picture nevertheless. Too bad we didn’t have the code to enter the complex. We then stood outside our what was once our backyard. My beloved backyard. How many times I had stood in there, pondering about life. That is where I used to have my morning cup of coffee. That is where we were surprised by the springing of a mysterious rose plant. And here I was again, on the other side of the fence this time.

We drove back, still reeling under the effects of all our past memories in that house. I can safely say, visiting that apartment complex was one of the highlights of my trip. The other highlight was meeting a certain somebody. Anyway, I was at the airport early in the morning the next day. Mint would be staying back for a while more. We hugged and said bye to each other. ‘See you soon’, he whispered to me. And as I walked towards security check, I realised those were always my sentiments when I left California. I don’t know what ties bind me to that place. But I can never say good bye. For I know I will return. It is always, ‘See you soon’.

Pictures, for your viewing pleasure. They are in no particular order or sequence.

Avocado toasts. I just could not get enough of these. I ate them at every opportunity. Such simplicity, but what an explosion of flavor!

toast

 

One night when we drove to twin peaks. As always, the wind was so ferocious here, I had to keep running back to the car to warm myself. I could feel the car swaying, quite literally. But the view was mesmerizing, so we tried to brave the wind and spend some time there. Mint would keep wrapping himself around me to shield me from the strong gusts of wind. Romantic setting and all that.

 

This was the *BEST* french toast we had eaten. Period. Oh God, I am drooling as I think of it.

 

Again, I was so delighted to get my hands on this African honey wine. It is called ‘Tej’. How I wish we got it in India. I can drink glasses of this with ease. It is probably the only kind of alcohol that I actually like. The rest of the stuff I enjoy only with good mixers.

 

On a sunny weekend, when we were strolling around the sea side. I saw this little girl playing on the rocks, engrossed in her own happy world. Just seeing her made me feel so happy. Anyway, how can you not be happy in such gorgeous surroundings? Doesn’t the sea look like a bed of molten sapphire?

 

On a cold, grey and foggy evening when we walked around Pier 39. That island you see is Alcatraz, which houses the famous prison. I am not sure I have written about my experience while touring this prison some years ago. Quite an interesting place. The cells and the description of the lives of the inmates sent chills down my spin.

 

This picture has a story. When we lived in the Bay Area, we would visit Target fairly regularly. We loved their shopping carts for how sturdy they were. I would stand on the edge of the cart and every time Mint spotted an empty aisle, he would push the cart while I stood on it and give me a fun, fast paced ride. It used to give me such a thrill and it always made me feel like a little child. Surprisingly, the staff never had a problem and would always give us a friendly and appreciative smile as they passed. This time when we visited Target, we realised I had to step on to the cart, for old times sake. Mint gave me the usual ride on the speeding cart and then he stepped aside to take this picture.

 

When we were just rolling on the lawns on a weekend. Such happy and carefree times.

 

In front of the far-famed Golden Gate bridge. We visited only because I insisted (for reasons unknown even to me). This must have been my nth visit to this place. I think there are so many better structures around, especially in the US. Why is this bridge so famous? Totally over-hyped, in my humble opinion.

 

I started getting cranky about not taking enough pics one day. In response, Mint pulled out his cell phone and took this random picture of me walking on the streets. That got me more annoyed. When I said I wanted pictures, I didn’t want pictures only of myself, walking on the road. And I didn’t want cell phone pictures. It was such a grey day anyway. We looked so dark. When I said I wanted pictures, I meant I wanted pictures of ‘us’. Good pictures, taken with our camera. Anyway, this picture is a little special to me. Because it commenced the beginning of taking more pictures. Had I not protested that day, I suppose we would not have had a single picture taken in this trip.

 

And so, that was a glimpse of our trip. It’s been a few weeks since I am back, and I already find myself dreaming of more travel. Sigh.. Anyway, long time since I stopped by here. How have you been, folks?

Posted in Travel | 50 Comments »

 
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