Category Archives: Open the World

Things I Learnt in Thailand

  • The Food – delicious, spicy, hot and interesting variety. I am from a bit of a diluted Indian background but have gone about life thinking I had palate made of steel! Most food had me sniffing and crying over there! I was too full to try any of the following but maybe on my next trip:20171224_17370520171224_17363720171224_105355
  • Many Temples – prepare to be struck with gold and glitter at temples that are at every step. Religion obviously holds a big space in everyone’s life there. It isn’t in mine so I spent heaps of time trying to understand the operational side of things.20171224_17422320171224_13273520171226_092411
  • Many Buddhas – Buddha statues are everywhere you turn!There are many types of Buddhas such as the reclining Buddha , the happy Buddha – each type having a story behind and morals accompanied.20171226_16150020171226_09265420171226_09311120171224_13321120171226_091658
  • Donations Pretty Big – seems like donations are their economy churner. It is seen everywhere in many forms mainly aimed to help the less fortunate and with the temple maintenance and operations.20171224_13352520171224_13514020171226_07160420171226_090504
  • No Engrish – people were terribly hospitable, warm and lovely however not many speak English. As my guide told me English is not part of the school curriculum. The only point I found this to be a problem was when I got lost, the place was a bit off the grid and despite my wild gestures I couldn’t get anyone to give me directions. Internet and power bank guys!
  • Massages – I tried various types -oil, traditional Thai and herbal.
  1. Oil – self explanatory – fragrant oil of choice will be massaged all over your body , except your head,at a pressure level you want.
  2. Traditional Thai –Bear in mind your masseur will be all over you pulling and stretching your limbs, aligning your postures with the help of not only their bare hands but feet and body. I played dead.
  3. Thai herbal – herbs with paste will be rubbed all over you, you’ll be put in a steamy bath then a sauna and then sent off for any of the above . This also reminded me of Indian weddings where brides are rubbed all over with turmeric, sandalwood and oil day before the wedding.

   IMPORTANT TIP: Ladies, please note that the entire chest is commonly included  in the massage!Let the masseur know if she speaks English or cover with your hands when you turn around and it will be understood.

    • Ladies Not Allowed – women are not allowed in some temples or certain part of the temple complex. Much similar to the Indian temple rules. This is because certain times of the month women are considered “unclean”. Having been “quarantined” or “banned” myself a few times in the past in temples and prayer ceremonies by my mother (not that I was dying to attend….) I tried to dig the internet for explanations but have found none easily readable ones.20171224_101202
    • Meditation  – the Thai culture is big on this and they have it growing up in schools and homes.The meditation that I have learnt recently ( guided meditation) seemed to be quite different to what they learn growing up there! (unguided meditation).20171224_132449
    • The Yoga there vs. NZ – The quality of the workshops and the delivery of classes were pretty much the same, although I do feel NZ is a bit big on safety ( not just exercises but in general).20171223_103857


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Melbourne Street Art

Special about Melbourne city is the awesome street art, adding to the place’s awesomely arty , urban-vintage style.Comparing to Auckland ( chilled and casual) will be unfair as there are two different vibes here, but both very live-able places i’d say.

(I learnt that Street Art is called Graffiti if it does not hold the consent of the owner of the building.Graffiti is illegal everywhere in Australia)

Now back to the fun part, the photos I took( which i hope is not graffiti) Most were from Union Lane, Hosier Lane and Fitzroy ( an extra-arty suburb).You can find street art pretty much everywhere you go, even on some vans in Dandenong ranges. Wish I took more but Melnourne has so much to do!
















William Rackette’s Sanctuary

Set appropriately in the lush and beautiful Dandenong ranges, on the outskirts of arty Melbourne!

The sculptures, embedded into the rocks and trees are a legacy of William Racket’s friendship with the aboriginal people back in the day, his love of nature and his applaud able artistic talents. Walking through the place gives a great sense of wonder and you can’t help but imagine what a passionate, full life Racketter’s would’ve lived!  Coolest legacy Australia!




Lake Wakatipu

Picturesque lake stretching from Kingston through Queenstown to Glenorchy. If you took a drive around the place you’d be stopping just about every minute for photos or just  to stare!

No doubt the best place for fresh morning walks but there’s many other activities going on as well.



Bit of Peace – Milford Sound

Schedules, trains, spreadsheets, linen,hair,dirty dishes,words said, words heard, words read, buildings,screens, screens,more screens,food, meal plans,perfect shoe hunt,nonstop songs in head, faces,moving lips and everything else squeezed in between in my forever galloping mind faded away in this magnificent, mystic place.

Bit of a drizzly,dark day so the emerald surrounding cliffs disappeared into foggy sky and not many wanted to brave the deck in the cold. I had it to myself most good part of the slow glide around this beautiful fiord, where I stood,gaping. So places have powers too.





Eye – Opening Reads/Watches 2016



1.Movie – Dukes of Burgundy   – Got me thinking for weeks on weird sexual fetishes – certainly does require a very open mind and putting judgement aside to understand the trust and respect in the relationship of the two ladies.’Human toilet” might require some extra deep understanding though.


2.Documentary  – World War 2 (in color on Netflix)  –  If you are a typical chic like me ( who didn’t grow up playing with guns and toy armies/tanks) you probably avoid war stories like the plague. I can totally not relate but after being  audience,for as what seems like a long time,to someone housing an astonishing amount of politics and history knowledge even I got a little intrigued and dived into this! Not bad at all – the visuals on maps, documentaries from libraries and the easy story telling kept me going.Great watch on the most harrowing deed in the world!


3. Documentary – The 5th Eye NZIFF – I was hooked! Interesting documentary covering all the haps around the GCSB act  involving our cyber privacy   in NZ-  all painted in very kiwi colors. This  opened up a huge can of intensely interesting topics for me to explore such as “Big Data”, ‘Smart Auckland” , “Internet of things”,” Industry 4.0″  and such.


4.Book – A Short History of the World by Geoffrey Blainey- I am not one for history but I felt like I was missing the whole picture at times, which my yellow brain needs so much! The world’s pretty old and come a long way and kudos to the writer for covering it in 472 pages only and  for putting it in layman’s terms. Quite absorbing at times and a great education!


5.Modern Romance – Azi’s take on dating & romance ( well more on dating less on romance because times can’t get any less romantic than these days!)Can there be no limit to hallway time? Must we all head into such mediocre doors in the end? Hilarious and very relatable if you’ve swiped faces on your phone, or about to ;-).


My first thought as I flew over the southern alps was ” I’d like to lick the snow off those mountains” Haha! I must’ve been hungry!

The place  is gorgeous everywhere you turn!Not one to be glued to phones/cameras but I did convince myself to close my gaping mouth and take some photos for memories sake. So here’s what I’d fondly ( and some not so fondly) remember my visit to South Island New Zealand by:

1.Beautiful lakes –  Excellent for breakfasts, followed by slow walks. The drive to Glenorchy, about an hour from Queenstown offers many scenic stops along lake Wakatipu .Lake Wakatipu


Lake Wanaka



Lake Hawea on a very rainy drive .


2. Queenstown hill – not to stressful and offering 360 deg view of the place including the lake – i’d do this over and over!



3. Milford Sound – done on a cloudy day which made the place even more mystic but the highlight of the trip was an excellent commentary provided by JUCY’s bus driver Eric through Fiordland – also he stopped at some cool places like The Mirror Lake and The Chasm for us.


4.Blue pools – except it wasn’t blue by the time I made it.A very strange experience standing in front of a raging, swollen river in the cold rain wearing a New World plastic bag over my head!


5. Roys Peak Wanaka – another beautiful harmless looking mountain turning into a bit of a nightmare with the gusty wind and the ice-grit on top – go prepared! Totally worth it.



6. Skiing  – My first time skiing and at Cardrona and it turned out to be an excellent day  thanks to a very patient instructor who in the end managed to get me doing a few rounds all on my own without falling or crashing into people.



7. Arrowtown – not crazy about the town itself but a leisurely walk around the river is just amazing! ( even if done in rain).



8. Backpacking  – Not so fond!The places I tried were clean with excellent facilities,close to action etc and sociable crowd but If you are an introvert like me, you’d need some space regardless. I’d prefer   AIRBNB    over hotels or hostels any day.

Bumbles Backpackers


Wanaka Bakpaka