Account of travels across the world. This blog provides descriptions of travels in different parts of the world. Pictures related to many of the blogs can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/7330879@N05/ and for more information I can be e-mailed at ananda@wfu.edu

Saturday, July 15, 2006

June 25, 2006


Took the morning flight (Jet 9w922) to Kolkata.  Everyone from D-50 was there to greet us.  I had the rental car there too with the driver (Surojit).  Got to AC 140 about 11:30.  Everyone hung out for a while and then Mikku and Srijoy went off to D-50 for the first part of the stay.  Spent some time with Shanker da and Didibhai and then went off to the City Center Mall.  Bought a new air conditioner for the house and had it delivered.  In the evening stayed at home.  Rana, my friend from school, came at 5:00 and then later in the evening others such as Sudip, my cousin, and his family came and later still Dada Bhai, my cousin, and family came over.  I was tired but it was good to see them all.


June 26, 2006


In the morning went off to Punjab National Bank with Ma and Avijit to make the necessary arrangements for the vault.  The matter went very smoothly thanks to the ground work that Abhijit had already done.  After completing the PNB work, went off to City Center for a bit.  Eventually got back home and the people came over to put in the new air conditioner.  It worked well and brought much needed relief.  Mikku and Bebo had come over too.  In the evening dropped them off at D-50 and went off to Lake Club.  Had a nice evening with my cousins.  Hung out there till about 10:30 and finally got back home.


June 27, 2006


Being my birthday and being this was happening in India after many years Ma was quite excited and so there was the elaborate arrangements in the afternoon.  Mikku and Bebo came over for lunch and we hung around home.  Later in the evening, everyone from D-50 came over as well and we ordered Pizza and spent the evening together with Shanker da and Didibhai as well.  There was a cake that Tinku had brought over and we cut that.


June 28, 2006


The morning was generally getting ready to leave.  Had lunch at home and did some chores in the morning.  Later took Mikku, Tinku and Bebo to new market.  Got some of the stuff and went to Grand for lunch.  Things got hurried and simply had to pack a lunch and leave.  Dropped them off and stopped by at home and then went off to the airport.  Flight was a little delayed and the Air Sahara flight reached Delhi around 6:00.  The car with driver Singh was there.  Went over the Marriott and spent the evening there.


June 29, 2006


Left from the hotel around 5:17 in the morning.  The journey was smooth but the car was not doing well with the air-conditioning.  We made it the outskirts of Jaipur in 4 hours and stopped at the Le Meridian resort for coffee.  I was coming down with a cold and needed a hot drink.  Got lost a little getting to the Institute but eventually got there.  Had a nice meeting with the staff and then the lecture went very well.  Had lunch with the Director and then headed out about 2:00 in the afternoon.  Stopped by the shops on the way out and then got on the way to Delhi.  It was fierce fully hot and the AC simply was not working.  It was quite bad until we got caught in the dust storm.  It was quite an interesting experience as the dust blew off the desert and the temperature fell from 114 F to about 95 F.  Eventually got into Delhi about 7:30 pm.  Was not feeling too well.  Kinshuk came to visit and we chatted for some time and I eventually called it a day about midnight.


June 30, 2006


Took the morning Jet flight from Delhi.  Getting to the airport was not a problem.  Flight worked on time.  From Dum Dum went straight to D-50.  Had lunch there and then went off shopping and such.  Later in the evening Mikku and Bebo shifted over to AC 140.


July 1, 2006


The morning was at home.  Went out to have lunch with Moushumi and Joy.  At Peshwari at ITC Sheraton Shonar Bangla.  After lunch went over to see Sudip, my cousin, and family in Tangra.  Got back in time to prepare the roof for the party.  The roof party went well and was attended by Phuchku da and family, everyone from D-50, Dada Bhai and family and of course Shanker da and Didibhai had done all the cooking.  It was a pleasant evening.


July 2, 2006


The morning we went out to see Pishima and all in Lake Town.  Had a little bit of a late start in the morning and so after Lake Town went straight to the restaurant for the school reunion.  It was the restaurant where the old Wadorf used to be on Park Street.  Nearly a dozen of the old boys showed up and many with families.  It was a rollicking time and we really had a great time.  Hung out there till about 3 and then went to Dum Dum Park, first to Dadabhai's house and spent a little time with them and then went over to my aunt’s house next door (Bhaima) and spent a little time with her.  The driver knew Dum Dum Park well and so he took us through the neighborhood where I grew up (lived there from 6 to 14) and we showed Bebo the site of where my first school used to be next to the temple.  We then headed back home.  Bunudi and family visited in the evening.  That evening Mikku, Ma, Boudi-ma and Tinku went off to see a movie (“Fanaa”) at the 89 Theaters and Bebo and I spent the evening upstairs with Shanker da and Didibhai.  I eventually went to get the ladies from the theater.  It was a rainy night. 


July 3, 2006


The morning was mostly at home.  For lunch met up with Sanjoy Sengupta and Sammy at the Hyatt bar.  It was an interesting meeting.  In the afternoon all of us went off to see the new movie “Krish” at the City Center.  Being shot in Singapore it was interesting to see the movie.  Later in the evening, went off to see Khuku mashi and then had a drink with Abhijit and Swati at Abcos. 


July 4, 2006


Nothing too much to do.  It was Ma’s birthday and we spent the day mostly shopping and going out the City Center and such.  In the evening everyone from D-50 came over and Shanker da and Didibhai joined us all for a dinner of dosa, dahi vada and other stuff I had got from Gangotri restaurant.  In the evening went and visited my uncle (baro mama) at AA block in Salt Lake.


July 5, 2006


We decided to spend most of the in packing and resting.  Had to go out in the morning for some last minute shopping and checking in with the vault at Punjab National Bank.  Then in the afternoon, Mikku and I went to City Center and finally got back home around 5:00 and started to get ready.  In the morning had to pay off the car as well and make arrangements for the return from the airport for the India group.  Also got a pair of eye-glasses done for a prince of Rs. 1,000 (about $20.00) and they were supposed to be delivered by 8 pm.  Dada bhai and Boudi came to see us off.  So went back to the City Center to pick them up, they were not ready and the person promised that it would be delivered to the hotel in Delhi when we return.  Eventually had dinner and left from home for the airport at about 8:30.  There were two cars, one Qualis and one Esteem.  The check in and security was smooth except for having to open a couple of suitcases for close inspection.  At the airport ran into Gorky and old friend from school and the Salt Lake neighborhood.  Flight left on time.  Singapore Airlines was nice and empty and Bebo and Ma could stretch out and sleep a little during the 3 and half hour flight.


July 6, 2006


We arrived in Singapore after the night flight at about 6:00 am.  It was 32 Celsius outside and for the rest of the stay the temperature changed little.  The humidity was about 99% and thus we were in a truly Equatorial climate.  It was rainy outside but that did not help!  We took a Maxi Cab (seats a max of 7 people and takes a lot of baggage for a flat fee of 35 Sing [about $21.00] for any point to any point in Singapore.  Shaped like an ellipse the furthest points in Singapore are 24 miles apart and one can drive from one end of Singapore to the other in about an hour.  We took the Maxicab to the Le Meridian hotel in Changi Village close to the airport.  We had arranged for early check in and so we got the three rooms and the people all went to bed to rest.  I got a cup of coffee in the restaurant and then called the car people to come and deliver the car.  In the meantime Buri called.  Buri, or Bedashruti or Munmun, is my niece.  She recently (February 2006) got married to a guy she met on the Net and moved to Singapore where her husband, Sandeep, works in the IT industry.  Mikku and I had missed the wedding and thus had decided to make this trip to Singapore mainly to see Buri and Sandeep.  So, Buri came over to the hotel about 9:30 and we waited for the van guy to show up.  A person called John came over with the van which eventually proved to be a converted cargo van that could seat people in very uncomfortable conditions.  We went with John and had to make the up front weeks rental payment of 410 Sings.  I had already wired 200 Sing as a security deposit.  John then left and Buri and I went to the 7-11 to top up the cash card.  All cars in Singapore have a toll collection equipment similar to the E-Z pass used on may toll roads in the USA.  The toll is deducted from a cash card (which can also be used to pay other things such as parking etc.) and I had to top up the card so there were funds in it.  Buri and I then had a cup of coffee and came up to our room.  Mikku was up by then and eventually all of us drove to the food court in Changi Village and had lunch.  The food at these food courts is really quite cheap and we enjoyed the lunch a lot.  We then drove to Buri’s place on Gelang East Avenue 2.  They live in a high-rise apartment building called Sims Ville (it is right off Sims Avenue).  It was typical apartment house and we went up to her place on the 9th floor and quite liked the place.  Ample for a newly wed and very nicely located with the MRT rapid transport right next door.  It was very reminiscent in a way of the place that Buri’s parent’s shared in Brajrajnagar right after their wedding. I had visited them there and spent some time with them and now had the opportunity to find the new generation in a similar situation!  The two interesting aspects about the place is that it is under the flight path of the Singapore Air Force crafts that fly into a base a little South West of their place and it is also about 4 blocks from the designated red light area of Singapore.  Given that Singapore is a very regulated society with a quasi-dictatorship in place (as some say it is a “gilded cage”) the city-state is very sterilized and completely controlled by unseen hands (and huge numbers of surveillance cameras), the location near red light area is no cause for concern at all!  More important than the place was Buri’s hospitality.  She was really nice and it was truly like coming home to visit her place.  Since everyone was tired we decided to spend just a little time at her place and head back to the hotel.  I had been reading the good map I had bought at the gas station and figured out that Singapore can be easily navigated by understanding the major highways that are identified by abbreviations such as PIE (Pan Island Expressway) and so coming back to the hotel was easier.  We got back and I walked back to the food court for a drink.  Eventually all of us went over to the food court and had dinner at the Indian stall.  Called it a day after that since everyone was really tired.


July 7, 2006


The jet lag had proved to be an issue and people took a while to get ready and going.  Additionally, I had to make sure that the room was emptied by noon.  I got everyone ready and packed by about 10:30 and left for the Bird Park around that time.  It was a long drive all the way from the Changi Village hotel on PIE and then ECP and then AYE to the Jurong Bird Park.  Realized that would not be able to come back to the hotel by noon and so called Buri and asked her to go over to the hotel and stall them for time.  Barely dropped them off and got back around 12:15.  Buri was there and she helped empty out the rooms and the valet took all the bags down.  Also, realized that the air conditioner in the van was not working (they call it aircon in Singapore) and so called the car company and they said they would get me a new van.  So Buri and I sat and chatted in the hotel lobby and eventually John showed up with a new van.  Very similar to the other one but the AC was working.  Got it loaded up and then went over to the food court for lunch.  It was miserable hot.  Buri and I ate together and as it was getting late had to finish up and I headed out towards Sentosa Island and Buri took a bus home.  I drove on ECP and took the Keppel Road exit eventually to get to the Sentosa Gateway Bridge.  Sentosa is a small island south of Singapore and this has been developed into a tourist area with resorts and other attractions.  I had to pay 2 Sings to get across the bridge and eventually found the Costa Sands Resort.  It was a nice resort but I had to move all the bags by myself in the afternoon heat and that was quite a feat.  I do not believe I have sweated this much ever before in my life.  I set up the rooms and barely had time to head back out to pick everyone up from the bird park.  Took the West Coast Highway and then Clementi road to get on to AYE towards Jurong and was able to get them from the same spot I had left them.  They had enjoyed the bird park.  Took the same way back and there was an unfortunate incident on the way back.  This is something that I can tell you about when we see each other and if you remember to ask.  I would rather not disclose this in a blog but it is safe to say that I have never been as unnerved.  Anyway had to pay to get back to the island and were informed that we should have our hands stamped at the Ranger’s Office every time we leave Sentosa and we would not have to pay.  We did this every time henceforth.  We got to the resort and everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy the place inspite of what had happened earlier.  We hung around by the pool and Srijoy took a swim and then we all went to the beach.  It was pleasant at the beach.  We walked over to the beach restaurant, had to bribe the greeter 10 Sing to get an early table but after a drink at the “Cool Deck” beach bar had a nice dinner and walked back to the resort and called it a day.


July 8, 2006


I got up early and got some work done.  The wireless internet was working again at the hotel.  Bebo and I went to the pool for some time.  Babul-baba also joined in.  I had gotten some work done earlier in the morning.  This morning Babul-baba chose to stay back and the rest of the group left to visit the nature reserve at Bukit Timah.  It was a little tricky getting there since I was still getting used to the roads.  After a few wrong turns we got there.  It was really hot and humid and Tinku decided to sit out the hike.  The rest of us started on the hike through the rain forest and after a while Ma and Boudi-ma turned around as well.  We pushed on and it was really nice.  This was a true equatorial rain forest and one could feel the steamy heat.  We went somewhat further and we too turned back and met back with the rest of the group.  We then headed towards downtown and I took the Havelock Road exit off CTE and ended up in Chinatown.  The parking lot was really interesting.  We had to drive the van into an elevator that took the car down into the underground lot.  We went to the People Park shopping center and had lunch at the food court.  Had some really strange food but it was generally OK.  Everybody seemed to enjoy their foods.  We then split in two groups – Srijoy and me, and the rest – and checked out the shopping mall.  It was interesting and got a sense that some things are really cheap in Singapore.  Mikku bought a few trinkets and we eventually headed back to the hotel.  Got back around 3:30 and Bebo hit the pool.  We hung around till about 6:00 and then ordered a Maxi Cab and went off to Buri’s place.  Took detailed notes about how to get there and that helped me later.  We were there about 6:30 and met Sandeep, Buri’s husband for the first time.  Really nice person and we had a very pleasant evening.  They had cooked up a storm and so we had a great dinner and generally a very nice night.  Again ordered the Maxi Cab and got back to the resort around 11:30.  There was a huge beach party in full swing and it proved to be a noisy night.


July 9, 2006


We had a late start because we wanted to take it easy in the morning.  The party from the night before had also been very rowdy and some could not sleep too well.  It was not possible to go to the pool since there was a wedding going on pool side.  People eventually got ready around 11:30 and we took the van over to Buri’s house.  They, however, decided not to go out with us.  We then drove over from Buri’s place to Snow City which is close to the Singapore Science Center.  We got there about 12:30 and had just missed the show.  So we bought the tickets for the 2:15 show and had lunch in the tiny cafeteria of Snow City.  It was a nice meal and then we were eventually allowed in.  All of us had to put on parkas and those in shorts (Bebo and me) also had to put on parka pants.  They then lead the group into a large area (size of a couple of football fields) where they have snow lying around, the temperature is about -8 Celsius and they have a snow slope for snow tubing.  Bebo had a ball doing that and the others just enjoyed the snow.  They could not stay there for more than 20 minutes and we left from there and headed out.  It was a rainy day and as we made our way to East Coast Park a really bad storm came in.  Took the AYE and ECP to get to Exit 13 and take the left on to East Coast Park.  It was raining hard.  We eventually made it to the McDonalds and I found parking there too.  We went to the McCafe and ordered tea and coffee.  It was raining persistently.  Buri and Sandeep showed up soon as planned.  Since it was raining, the ladies decided to hang out at the Café.  Sandeep, Bebo and I took a walk in the rain to the beach.  It was nice.  Then the guys just hung around outside chatting.  Eventually at around 5:30 we all made our way to the Indian restaurant (Kamala Vilas) and we had an early dinner.  Before that Bebo and I had gone to the beach for some time and Bebo had a nice time at the beach inspite of the slight drizzle.  I just stood under the umbrella!  After the supper at the restaurant, which was Sandeep and Buri’s treat we took the van and drove to the zoo for the night safari.  This was a very unique experience of traveling on a tram through a zoo at night and seeing the animals.  There was an interesting show that we attended as well and Sandeep, Buri, Mikku, Bebo and I also walked a trail and saw hyenas and tigers which at night looked quite menacing and uncomfortably close!  It was a great experience and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  Eventually after a brief stop at the gift shop our group took the van back to Sentosa and Sandeep and Buri took a taxi home.  I was a little lost on the way back and took the West Coast Highway viaduct and got off at Brani Gate 2 and had to make some illegal turns to get to the Sentosa Bridge.  Got back around mid night.


July 10, 2006


This was the day we had earmarked for shopping.  We all got up and ready earlier than other days and got in the van and drove over to Buri’s house.  We got there in good time and we then took two taxis and went to Mustafa’s.  This is a Singapore institution.  The store was originally started as a small Mom and Pop organization many years ago.  With time this grew into one of the largest shopping centers in Singapore that is open 24 hours and has pretty much anything you would want at a very affordable price.  Shopping in Singapore is tricky.  There are small shops that sell stuff that could be of suspicious origin and quality.  This is where Mustafa’s comes in because they guarantee good products at reasonable prices.  It is located bang in the middle of Little India and has become an icon of the Indian presence in Singapore.  We split up into three groups – Srijoy and me, Mikku and her parents, Buri and my mother – and shopped for stuff we wanted.  I got a camera, lots of computer peripherals and games and stuff.  The process is quite interesting.  For the high price items the clerk will give you a little pink slip and you pay for the product at the cashiers and after payment take the receipt and the pink slip to the place where you got the stuff and they would give you the merchandise, put it in a plastic bag, and then zip lock it so that you can not put anything else in it.  After the shopping Srijoy and I went to a food court for a beer and ginger ale.  We left all our shopping at the store’s left luggage area and had lunch together at the restaurant called Anandabhumi.  The place is full of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi restaurants with shop signs written in Indian languages.  After lunch we went back to Buri’s place and picked up the van.  Since Mustafa did not have some of the stuff we were looking for we decided to go to a store on Orchard Road – which is the main business district of Singapore.  Took the PIE to the CTE and then got off at the Orchard Road exit and parked in the Singapore Place Mall.  Had coffee at Starbucks and hung around there for some time.  Eventually everyone was tired and we decided to get back to the hotel.  Drove purely by instinct and by what I had learned of the Singapore roads and we got back with no problems.  Everyone was tired and I was bored.  Bebo went to the pool and as the evening dragged on, I had to cancel the dinner date with Buri and Sandeep and we eventually took the beach tram to Palawan beach where we had a nice Indian dinner.  Eventually got back to the hotel around 10:30 and called it a day.  I did go out to the pool side and snoozed there for a while before going back into the room.


July 11, 2006


Got up feeling a little down because of a cold/flu that seemed imminent.  It was a hot day as usual and I got up and went by the pool to access the Internet and get some work done.  Since the group was still in bed I decided to walk down to the beach area and take a tram to get some coffee.  The tram was quite unreliable and so I walked over to the Siloso beach area and got a cup of coffee.  Got back to the room and decided to work some until everyone was ready.  Eventually all were up and we left in the car and drove over to Fort Siloso.  Dropped the group there and I came back and parked the car at the hotel and walked back to the fort.  They were still waiting and we took the bus up to the fort.  It was a very educational tour and learned a lot about the history of Singapore particularly in terms of its role in the Second World War.  Bebo and I took a walk around the fort grounds taking pictures of the guns and such.  Then we visited the gift shop and picked up some souvenirs.  We then re-joined the group and took the bus to Underwater World.  This was basically a small aquarium, and it had the tunnel walk which everyone really enjoyed.  We spent some time there and visited the gift shop and ate at the restaurant attached to the aquarium.  It was not a bad meal but it was more expensive than other places.  After the meal we took the Red Line bus to the Artist’s Village bus stop.  This is the stop for the Merlion – the Singapore Icon – and we all walked to the base of the Merlion.  Mikku, Bebo and I went to the top of the Merlion while the others waited below.  After some time there we met up with the rest of the group and walked back to the bus stop.  Babul-baba and Tinku wanted to return to the hotel.  Mikku, Ma, Boudi-ma and Bebo proceeded to the Dolphin Lagoon and I reached the others back to the hotel.  We took the Blue Line bus to the main bus station and then the Siloso beach tram back to the resort.  After dropping them off I took the beach trams all the way back to the Dolphin lagoon (the ticket for Underwater World is good for the Dolphin Lagoon as well).  The show was about to start and it was terribly hot and I was quite miserable from the cold.  The show was a bit lack luster compared to what we have seen elsewhere but the Dolphins (pink dolphins) was quite unique.  After the show, we took the beach tram back to the bus station and then the Blue Line bus to the cable car plaza.  It was incredibly hot and the place was teeming with tourists.  There, all but me went to see the Butterfly Park and I hung out at the plaza and had a drink.  A storm came through dumping rain and reducing the heat and humidity marginally.  After they were done with the butterfly world, we all bought tickets for the Cable car and took it to Mount Fabor on the Singapore side.  It was a pleasant ride.  At the other end, we had drinks and snacks at a really nice restaurant and then everyone browsed the shops some.  We eventually took the cable car back to Sentosa and the bus/tram combination back to the resort.  I went off to the 7-11 to get sandwiches and got back around 7:15 pm.  Bebo was already in the pool.  Had a couple of drinks by the pool and then we all got in the van and drove over to the Ferry Terminal area for the magic fountain laser show.  Thankfully I easily found parking and the laser show was really good, much better than what we have seen before.  It lasted about 45 minutes and after that we trooped back to the car and were heading back home when we realized that there was the Chinese restaurant we had not tried.  They were getting ready to close (it was about 9:30) but were willing to serve us.  We ordered and then I needed to go to the restroom.  The lady said it was outside and as I stepped outside I saw it was pitch dark and there was no restroom in sight, but there were plenty of trees and shrubs.  So, had the opportunity of doing something that all had said is impossible to do in Singapore!  Anyway, got back to the dinner and after dinner drove back to the hotel.  Everyone was really tired and I was feeling bad from the cold and we called it a day.


July 12, 2006


I got up feeling quite miserable from the horrible cold I acquired.  Anyhow, spent most of the morning packing and arranging things.  Then woke up Ma at about 7:15.  It was raining outside so it was a little dreary.  Then woke Mikku up about 8:00 am and she said that Bebo had reacted to the food and had thrown up in the middle of the night.  Needed to take it easy.  I drove around Sentosa trying to find a place for coffee but everything was closed till 10:00 am, so got back to the resort.  At about 9:30 Mikku, Tinku and Ma were ready and I had also had two people load the van with the heavier stuff.  I took the three of them to the Artist’s Village bus stop and left them there so that they could walk down to the Sentosa orchid garden.  It was a short walk and one needs to walk in the lane between the magic fountain area and the bus stop.  I came back to the hotel, checked the three rooms and then picked up Bebo, Babul-baba and Boudi-ma and their bags and we headed out to Buri’s place.  It was relatively a quick drive and we were there by about 11:00.  The other group arrived by taxi from Sentosa and got there about 11:30.  Buri, babul-baba and I then went out to the local mall (the one with Shop and Save) and got Ma’s watch and walked back.  It was terribly hot and my cold was not helping.  Later, all of us except Buri took two taxis and drove over to Clarke’s Quay by the Singapore River.  Walked around there for a bit and had lunch at Hooter’s which was really odd!  Then took the Singapore river boat tour and it took us down the river all the way through the downtown area and then out to the harbor by the Esplanade and Merlion park and we got an amazing view of the Singapore skyline.  The commentary on the boat was good but could barely be heard over the din of the engine!  It was also terribly hot.  The cruises are available all over the river side and usually costs about 15 Sing per adult.  The cruise lasts about 45 minutes.  We were let off at Clarke’s Quay and we walked across the area to the taxi stand.  I had to get money out from the ATM at the Novotel and then we took two taxis back to Buri’s place.  I sat down then and arranged the pictures for printing.  Buri and I went over to the mall at Singapore Post and got the pictures done and got back home by about 5:30.  We then left for the airport around 6:15.  Took the PIE to Changi and got there in about 20 minutes.  Went to the wrong terminal first but then dropped the passengers off and parked in car park C (in Singapore the work for parking is “car park” and not “parking lot” and it is pronounced “capak”).  The check in line was really slow, and in the meantime I arranged to return the car.  That took about 20 minutes and because of the damage on the car it cost me the 200 Sing deposit.  Eventually the India group was checked in and they went through immigration and we took a cab back to Buri’s place.  Sandeep was home and we sat and chatted for some time.  My cold was really working up.  Eventually, we took a bus (number 67) to Little India and we ate an excellent dinner at the Raj restaurant.  Since Sandeep has lived in the area for a long time he is well familiar with the restaurants. It was a great meal and it was a treat from Sandeep and Buri.  We then walked back to Serangon Plaza taxi stand.  It was about 10:30 at night but the place was still abuzz with activity.  Finding a taxi was really difficult and Sandeep called a cab and all but Sandeep took the cab back home and then Sandeep came along in a few minutes in a second cab.  We sat around and watched TV till about midnight.  The couple was really nice and they let us use their bedroom as they moved into the guest room.  I was feeling really ill from the cold and flu and so had a troubled night with the sneezing, coughing, and the general Singapore heat.


July 13, 2006


We got up around 7:00 after another really hot night in Singapore.  Buri prepared a lovely breakfast of cucumber sandwiches and tea and coffee.  Sandeep left for work at 8:30 and we sat around and chatted for a while.  Srijoy was still in bed.  Then around 9:30 Mikku and I left for Mustafa.  We took a cab and then spent the morning shopping in Mustafa.  Got some essential items and eventually got done around noon.  Took another cab back to Buri’s place.  Srijoy was up and was having breakfast.  We did some more packing and also helped clear up the mess that we had made in her house.  We also went to the food court in the Singapore Post plaza.  Had an excellent lunch of tandoori chicken and nan.  The heat outside was intense.  Eventually got back home, packed and called for a MaxiCab.  None were available so we had to hire two regular cabs and took them to Changi.  Got there is plenty of time and Buri came along to see us off.  She left after reaching us to the airport and we checked in, finished immigration without hassles and did a little shopping and admired the orchids at Changi and eventually boarded on time.  The flight was miserable for me because of the bad cold but other than that it was eventless and we arrived in Delhi around 10:30 pm.  The Radisson had sent a nice vehicle (the Toyota Inova) and we were at the hotel and in the room in no time.  Extremely nice room and we called it a day.  I took some more medicines to help me sleep.

posted by Ananda  # 3:04 PM


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