28 June, 2014


On my Delhi to Chennai 3 hour (also delayed) flight, my neighbour on the plane broke the unspoken rule with "what are you reading?" He then apologised for interrupting, excusing himself with the fact that he travels so much and feels lonely, so he often talks to strangers. Here we go, I thought...
Having met a fellow traveller we started talking about our kind (I will define it as Globetrotter?) and so I thought I'll share here what I think is required for doing what I do long term.
(This is a work in progress)

  • Being single and very, very independent - although my fellow traveller Helga crushes this requirement with her husband and 2 kids very successfully, but she is very, very independent.
  • Related to above - having something or someone to return to - something meaningful to give you a sense of "home", otherwise you might not come back one day... For me this is my study.
  • A risk taking personality - "this was the worst turbulence ever and I will never ever fly again, well not for another two days". Plus an addiction to going to more and more extreme places - more dangerous or difficult, more bizarre, hard to get into, rare and unusual. Hong Kong or Singapore does not satisfy for long.
  • Collecting - countries visited, frequent flyer miles, hotel points, cities that start wit "B", number of airlines flown, number of flights in a trip - there has to be a meaning to this repetitive job.
  • Air Crash Investigations (but it is forbidden or in REALLY BAD TASTE to watch it on the plane).
  • Adaptability and also a dislike of routines,  if you have a high need for daily rituals this will leave you frustrated. So don't try to unpack and put things in order - you will change hotels tomorrow.
  • Navigation skills - whether it is finding your room (was it 2403 or 622?), navigating the trains in Tokyo or yet another room layout in the dark, this is essential.
  • Strong stomach - in all senses of the word!
  • Dealing with all kinds of people - people who don't shake hands, people who want to hug you, people who say very offensive things and those who want to marry you after a 10min conversation, strangers who talk to you and strangers who ignore you when you try to talk to them.
  • Tolerant friends who don't abandon you because you don't call or write for months and sometimes years, and then when you meet everything is as if you've seen them yesterday!

Goodbye India?

Every time I come to India and I think: this is the last time I'm here and I am never coming back here again (for at least 2 years)! India surprises me and deals me a good trip. (Knock on wood this continues for another week)
I have spent a happy week in Delhi and another good week in Punjab - despite the 45+ degree heat, which as anyone knows I LOATHE - though above 40 it is so hot it's beyond hot!
Now as I am sitting in cool Chennai where temperature hovers just above 30 degrees, and I am contemplating my free weekend, life in India is good!
And I will come back... ;-)

08 April, 2014

Goodbye Europe!

I am just about to leave Milan and Europe after 2 weeks of some amazing times, the highlight of which would have to be Barcelona and seeing A&M! But before that, after rainy Lisbon was:
Madrid, also very rainy, where I saw 140 Goyas - simply stunning! I didn't realise his paintings were so big. In the room with Goya's Black paintings, which he painted at the end of his life on the house walls, I almost sat down so impressed. I know that they were repainted once taken off the the crumbling walls, but were so dark and forbidding it is hard not to get impressed.
Barcelona, where I had the best guides and where the sun finally came out, was unforgettable. From a walk through the red district, a park with some dangerous wildlife, a cat university, a photo exhibition of 1950s Barcelona, to some great food, wine and beer and even better company, time really went too fast!
And finally Milan, only one night but I had a chance to try some great Italian food and wine and see the beautiful old Duomo Cathedral.

And thanks A&M for fantastic time, especially the help from the monkeys, who translated like fluent professionals!
Photos coming.

26 March, 2014

Ola Amigos!

From Lisbon, Portugal.
Apart from the cold I got (it's also cold out but I'm not complaining) things are not too bad. I tried new jet lag pills and they seem to be working after my epic 28 hrs of flying and 36 hours of travel. Knock wood since next are 4 days of 10 hour exhibitions, but I'm not nodding off at 2pm. Granted I will probably pass out on the way back East.
Today I went searching for Portuguese cats in the oldest Moorish suburb of Lisboa (Alfama) but it must be too cold and they are smartly staying in. I did find Bistro Gato Pardo and had lunch there among cat related artwork, at least. I also found the flea market called Thieves Market but didn't find anything too interesting. Then it started to rain again and I learnt how to use the metro back home. Well it's hot bath, aspirin and early night for me to try and stop the cold developing.
Wish I could find a hotel where the rooms came with a cat, real one.

23 February, 2014

Happy Birthday Pushkin

My little cat soulmate. X
I hope we meet again, in this life or the next.

22 February, 2014

Peaceful Sri Lanka

Hello all, last legs here and back to health.
Busy though, no time to venture out...

18 February, 2014

Had to see a doctor for the first time on a trip...

Technically it was the second time. I had to see one at the Delhi airport in May 2011 before being able to fly out of India and he stabbed me with a needle without me giving permission!
This time it looked a legit doctor an on his notepad he has a note: "Hon Physician to the 10th President of India", now if that guy lives, I'm in good hands! :-) Plus he had a female nurse with him, straight out of 1950s, whose job it was to stand there and make sure he, or I, didn't take advantage of the situation. I got the injection and a whole batch of antibiotics and nausea meds and have slept for 14 hours straight after.
So apparently - I'll live!!! ;-)

17 February, 2014


And the Delhi belly got me again!

Oh! New mini obsession!!

Jane Eyre has become obsessive viewing...
Michael Fassbender version!
(My next husband will be half Irish, half German...)

My Favourite Lahore

New Fastest and Furious!
Australian tree inside Lahore Fort.

Flowers from the Persian

Most famous restaurant and ex brothel in
Lahore - The Coockoo's Nest.