Friday, January 18, 2013

Cafe Monza at Kharghar

I was gone from Kharghar for about two months and when I came back, several developments have happened here - Cafe Monza being one.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Holiday Vacay Round-up: New Year in New Delhi

23 Dec 2012 to 07 Jan 2013

This is a part of the Holiday Vacay Round-up Series. For Goa, the Christmas destination, click here.

After spending Christmas in Goa with co-vols Sue and Rosie, and her twin Penny and Pen's BF Tom, and my friend Leah and fellow CouchSurfer Sumin (who were both hosted by my former CS host Warren), I proceeded to New Delhi, where I'll celebrate the coming of 2013 with fellow Filipinos and VSO volunteers! Plus the wedding of Minrose and Shishir (which provided an opportunity for us to wear sarees!) and Rajie and Pras' housewarming party!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Holiday Vacay Round-up: Christmas in Goa

23 Dec 2012 to 8 Jan 2013

WOW. I was gone for a really long time! Now that the Christmas and New Year holiday vacation is over, it made me realize how loooooong I have been travelling. So far, this is the longest on my record - 17 days! There are also many firsts and records in this journey that took me back to Goa in the West, then to the freezing Delhi in the north before I moved further northwest into a more freezing Amritsar (Punjab) and to the relatively pleasanter weather of Jaipur (Rajasthan) in the northwest/central India.

Here's an account of the Goa episode:

Sequernim Beach, Candolim, Goa (north)

Friday, December 14, 2012

VSO India International Volunteer Day Celebrations

6-9 December 2012

YEY! VSO India celebrated the International Volunteer Day (IVD) through a series of events and activities in Delhi. It's a day to honor all the international volunteers all around the globe. As part of the celebrations, in-country volunteers based in States outside Delhi were called back to re-unite with Delhi-based volunteers for a day of fun and stress-free sessions of games and reflections.

(some) VSO India in-country volunteers and Country Office Staff

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Indian Marriages (some explanatory notes first!)

I believe it was when I read Chetan Bhagat's "2 States" (a book based on the story of his marriage) that I have truly been interested to learn more about Indian marriages. Coming from a place where the so- called "love marriages" (though we never called it like this) is the norm, the idea of "arranged marriages" in India seemed an almost alien concept to me.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fully booked

To say that my train to Kolkata from Mumbai has many passengers is the understatement of the century. Well, at least that is the case on the sleeper class bogie of Gitanjali Express that I am in.

I should have known it this morning by the very very long line of the passengers queued for the second class carriage or the general or the unreserved class. This was not the first time I saw the line moving and this morning's was indeed longer and more frantic than before.

SRO at night time

Of course, the Gitanjali Express is not dubbed super fast for nothing. It only takes 30 hours to reach Kolkata from Mumbai. Other trains I have checked that matches my schedule range between 32-36 hours of journey from Mumbai in the West to Kolkata in the East. (The hours of course not include the delays which happen with trains often.) I believe this is the reason why there are a lot of passengers in the Gitanjali. It's the Durga Puja season or the Duhserra (Dasara) festival which is widely celebrated in West Bengal, the state of Kolkata, an everyone wants to make it home.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lost ticket scare

This morning, I was losing my mind as I frantically searched for my train tickets for the East India vacay! How can someone lose five tickets being showed off at Skype just two nights before?! The answer: forgetfulness blamed on stress and lack of sleep!

Ok, ok. Erase the stress part. My stress levels, I believe, is gradually going down as I have completed most of my tasks for YUVA Urban and for VSO and I have already secured my tickets for the five inter-state trains spanning thousands of kilometers and tens of hours on a non-ac sleeper class triple bunk. As Amanda commented on the Indian Rail system, "I'm just so amazed that it works!"

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