Travel Is People

It’s raining in Hanoi, and the grey skies are matching my mood so I am going to take a quick break from the norm here and write a short piece about the actual act of travelling, that is as much for my own self indulgent therapy as anything else. Apologies if this ends up like a teenage girl’s diary. I have been inspired by the blogs of people I’ve met and they are incredibly open about their journeys and the ways in which it affects them. Continue reading

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To Lah, Or Not To Lah, In Malaysia

DSCF2500 (Copy)After leaving Hong Kong, one of the first things that caught me by surprise in Singapore was the accented English. Singaporeans and to a lesser extent Malays, speak English as native speakers with (to my ears at least) Indian accents complete with mannerisms such as the head wobble. The usage of the word “lah” here and there in a fashion that is impossible for the outsider to crack in a short amount of time, supposedly has its roots in Chinese. Given the colonial history of the region, this isn’t a huge surprise, especially with the large number of Indians who have made their homes here for well over a century. I was expecting to English to be swept asideĀ in toto as soon as I crossed in to Malaysia but this did not happen. True, the primary language switched to Bahasa Malaysia but I was certainly surprised by the number of locals whose grasp of English was that of a native speaker or close to it. Continue reading

Follow The Money To Yangshuo

DSCF2094 (Copy)On the back of any nation’s currency is a statement that says “this is your country! Isn’t it beautiful! Isn’t your supreme leader/ex-head of state/psychotic dictator a wonderful man?” On the back of Chairman Mao’s head on the 20 Yuan note is a lithograph of the most famously beautiful scenery in China and has been the inspiration for countless artists, poets, writers and film makers for years. Continue reading