I'm sitting in my (cosy) hotel room in Singapore - after a second early morning nap (woke up at 4am and had breakfast with the fasting muslims in the hotel). If you want to do cheap and cheerful - the Ibis is it. Its a standard that you know you can count on - anywhere. I have a lot of catching up to do but other than I should have blogged more often (I'm hopeless) - I will settle for some of the highlights. Did I mention that I LOVED being in Australia? I did. Wasn't sure what to expect but you hear so much about how Indians are treated etc (probably is there in some parts) but I did not face it. The people were courteous, helpful and were quite happy to welcome you to their country.
I loved that you could walk comfortably without the fear of being run over because there were foot paths and pedestrian crossings that drivers respected. You see so much of the city when you walk everywhere - especially for a people watcher like me. I apologise to any Australian if I stared - that's the Indian in me. We're curious (read nosy).
I loved the long 'bush' walks my cousin and I took in Sydney around Bradley's head and around the Domain. It amazes me how much of the natural bush land (read forest) is right in the middle of Sydney city and its suburbs. Its looked after and cared for and respected. And its significance and history well marked for everyone to be aware of, and read about. I loved that there were open spaces throughout the city for anyone to use - free. The weather was glorious while I was there and people were taking full advantage of these wide open spaces.
I absolutely adored catching up and getting to know my family that I had not seen in more than 30 years. It is amazing to meet them as the adults they have become and see glimpses of the kids they used to be. What was amazing was how similar we are (and yet individual) in some of the characteristics. It was also interesting to be treated like you were 11 years old by my very aging Aunt and Uncle in Perth! They were terrified I would get lost and what was I thinking taking the public transport. It was hilarious - though they did get a bit worried. I thought texting them and telling them I had Google maps would help. Silly me.
I JUST LOVED IT. Love my family in all its diversity.
Oh and things I tried new: Vietnamese food.
If you want to see photos of the places and people: