Land of the prophets – Part I

You know this was an epic journey. One that for us took a few years to finally make it. Yes!! We have finally placed our handprints on Jordan and Israel. Being able check off the bucket list item was one of our dreams come through.

Million dollar step 6
Finally captured this vision ourselves!

The journey itself cannot be said to be tough, since we were protected, escorted, chaperoned and guided throughout the entire two weeks. All because we stick out like a sore thumb as Asians touring the middle east.

As you might know we started with Jordan. And in this post, we will share with you the link to part I of our captured itinerary. You know all about anticipation. Before you go and actually see a place for yourself, you have all sorts of images in your head and feelings about the place you are about to touch.

Sometimes, these feelings and images may have an anti-climatic effect when you finally get there. But not this one. For indeed Petra is as spectacular as they say, and as wondrous as it looks on IG. It was so awesome that we can only encourage you to make the same journey as we did and touch it for yourselves.

It was not a marathon, but we were determined to make the most of the time we had at the site that we almost clocked the distance. Ok. Half of it. The point being; how often is one going to be back in this wonderful location in the middle of a largely parched land? You know as we do.

Have you been to Petra? Don’t you think it is an incredible piece of heritage and history that should be protected?

The MRT series – Admiralty (NS10)

Is it because its near the naval base that it has this name? Well it appears so. Because apparently a Rear Admiral of the British fleet resided here, along with the Naval high command during colonial days. Today what counts as part of the Admiralty (of the Republic of Singapore) is further away from the station, but a name has been inherited by this new HDB town. And check out the new nearby park with large slides!

You see, in recent years our little red dot has been ramping up construction of not only excercise stations, but also playgrounds. It’s not quite Legoland, but hey! Can you think of any other city or country in the world that does this?

← Woodlands (NS9)

→Sembawang (NS11)

A tale of zwei schlossen

Some people write about two cities. We write about two castles.

For one of the privileges of living in Europe is the proximity one is to such numerous fortifications, some of which can just be around the corner from where one lives. Ok. So we exaggerate about these sights being “op de hoek” as the Dutch say.

Today we want to compare two sites.

Of the many that we’ve visited in Germany, we were not more struck by the contrast then these two. Both started out as fortifications, and served those purposes well. But one came to glamour while the other languished. What could have been the deciding factor that led to such different outcomes? Read all about the comparison here.

Which castle would you prefer?

Did you read the story? If you did, we hope you’d be inspired to be the castle that you wish to be, whatever the circumstances. Sometimes life does not deal the best set of cards to one. It’s how you play your hand over a period of time that ultimately determines if you can form a royal flush. But don’t be flushed just because you did not have a full house. Because having it straight is wonderful too as is having three of a kind. Of course if nothing else then two pairs could be consolation.

We could not even form two pairs when we first started.

Do you enjoy castle ‘collecting’? We do, and surely made the most of the opportunities afforded to us when we lived in Holland. And with that we conclude our series on Germany. Now we’d move over to Italy next, but as you know we’ve just come back two months ago from the land of the prophets. Time to share the journalogs next.

Look out for them soon!

A Bangkok getaway II

Oh such fun. Being away during a super long weekend. You might not know it, but the lunar new year falls every year between the gregorian calendar months of January or February. And after giving out red packets (of money) and eating all the peanuts equivalent to a year’s normal consumption what is one to do?

In the past we used to stay in the little red dot and visit even more relatives and friends (and eat more peanuts). But today with the constant contact we already have every now and then, plus social media it seems we’ve run out of conversations when we meet face to face! So this is the second year that we’ve determined to move away from the familiar faces and to a place where we are not so familiar with.

But where can one go in these months of the year? For a quick jaunt that is.

Obviously China and much of northeast Asia (except Japan) is closed. Tokyo would be wonderful to be for a few days… or it might be places such as Australia. Our surrounding archipelago of islands sounds like fun too. Or it could be the land of smiles. Where’s that you ask? You must have not been watching any of the infomercials promoting Thailand huh?

So here we are lounging by the pool of the Conrad Bangkok, writing and sending this post before we head off for another culinary orgasm in the Asian city of Angels (yeah here’s looking at you Lala land).

Think of this as a post card that says “wish you were here”… (NOT!)

Do you enjoy visiting Bangkok? Because we do. What are your favourite things to when you visit a city besides eating?

The MRT series – Woodlands (NS9)

Ah. It sounds like a station in verdant nature. Surrounded by 50 shades of green, one might imagine Woodlands station to be sweet smelling with flowers and music flowing from the birds…

NOT.

Also the second station of the future Thomson East Coast line (TEL2), it will be a stop in a few years time (like 2020 or sometime close) that connects to a line going over to Johore Bahru… how convenient! Imagine seamless travel to Malaysia for your shopping and culinary fix… you need to be in the little red dot to understand our obsession to search for ‘cheap and good’ food… it’s almost a national pastime.

Now until that time there is a lot of construction going on here at the point Mel was in the neighbourhood. But that does not mean there is no kampung spirit around here! One more thing. Like Marsiling station (NS8),  a lot here was undeveloped. Mel recalls vaguely the MRT line being constructed as he marched across newly cleared fields back in the early 90s. Wow, so much has changed.

← Marsiling (NS8)

→Admiralty (NS10)

All hail the (狗) Dog!

Ok. Who let the dogs out? Who… Who? Who? Who? Well it is time to let them out since the Rooster has scooted out to make way for the dog. In a day’s time, it will be the lunar new year so here’s advanced greetings to you all!

May the force be with you, bringing vitality and vibrant “chi” (氣) energy.

You see the connection between Star Wars’ Jedis and the kungfu masters? To be honest it was hilarious. When we first saw Star Wars (episode I for some folks) back in 1980, we thought Jedi power sounded very familiar. No we did not watch it when it premiered in 1977 in case you were wondering. The little red dot was more of a developing country then. Incredible huh?

You see we were brought up with the kungfu genre of heroes using invisible force emanating from their palms. They could also freeze you in place with a tap on certain accupuncture points too. And they are light footed enough to jump from house to house, or sometimes fly at you like birds. As we say around here, “don’t play play” with these kungfu experts, ahem Jedi knights.

What has all these to do with the lunar new year of the Dog?

Nothing!

But thanks for reading till the end. It will soon be ‘reunion dinner’ night, so no more reading and commenting on WP for a while. Some will dance to the rhythm of ‘agogo’, while others relax over the days giving away packets of money to children. But every day or so there will be a salad toss up, ‘lohei’ we call it here. Google it. We are sure you might find it fascinating. Huat ah!

Do you have lunar new year celebrations at a location near you?