On Slow Travel


I was away on a holiday and came back a week ago. It usually takes me a week to recover from a holiday ha ha. Usually,  I tell myself that  I will write about the trip but never get around to writing it. This time, I took down notes and will update in order of the trip.

I have noticed that there are 3 kinds of travellers –

  1. checklist/fast
  2. slow
  3. Social media

1. Checklist/fast – Travel many places in a short span of time like 1 week. Visit all the tourist spots. The very idea of this stresses me out and makes me not want to go on a holiday. Most people I know fall under this category. 

2. Slow – Travel to 1 place at a time for a week to a month. Like to soak in the culture of 1 place. Preferably avoid tourist spots (or are quick with it). I belong to this category. Crowds irritate me. Running around like a chicken with a head cut off irritates me. When I am on a holiday, I like to feel that I am on a holiday aka no schedule or running around.

Also, I love to analyse every single place I visit and am constantly comparing everything with other cities and countries. Another reason, I need more time to observe.

3. Social media – Don’t give a shit about the place they are travelling to. It’s all about being seen and shopping. I know lots of people under this category too. Information levels before and after travel are exactly the same. Before I knew this, I used to assume that people who travel a lot are more broad minded and have had more exposure. Now, I know not to judge a person by the stamps on their passport. Some of the narrowest minded people I have met are those who have travelled to so many countries.

What kind of travel do you prefer?

Do natural cosmetics have a short shelf life?


My usage of cosmetics is quite slow as I am the only person using most of them along with the fact that I switch products depending on my mood.

My Acure face wash ended up staying in my bathroom for quite a while, maybe a year till I realised that the original smell had changed. I do not think the product went bad per se but the original smell was missing. I feel that this is a result of it staying too long in a extremely hot and humid climate (where everything gets spoilt or get fungus eventually – including bags, jeans etc.). I am now trying to finish it up.

Also, a lot of my lip balms started smelling rancid and  I them away. The chemical lip balm I bought 3 years ago is still good. Hmph.

On the other hand, face washes, creams from brands like Nivea aren’t affected by this climate and seem unchanged after years.

My recommendation is to buy organic/clean cosmetics as per usage basis as they seem to have slightly shorter shelf life compared to the mainstream ones especially if you are in a hot and humid climate.

That is expected considering that there are lesser preservatives/chemicals used. They may however last longer in continental climates.

Will you refuse to date someone who sends you this SMS?


I read Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and liked the book overall. I love reading books on talking about modern social issues and those that are easy reads not boring textbook like.

However, I just could not wrap my head around the situation described in p42-44. He is talking about the importance of sending the proper SMS which would determine if someone would go out on a date with you. The example he uses is below –

IMG_20151122_161831_HDR

Modern Romance SMS

I really saw nothing wrong with this text. The guy was not a creeper, did not send an inappropriate message (like the sexual kind), introduced himself, clarified how he got her number, established a common friend connection (safer and kind of trustworthy) and seemed overall nice. 

Another point to note is that Rachel and Will met in person before this SMS at a wedding. In today’s world of flakiness and no replies, anybody making an effort to find out your number and not creeping you out is a great.

However, the young people including the author disagreed. Maybe, it was author’s license but I could not believe the entire audience of 3600 & Rachel was put off by 1 word – ‘texty’.

IMG_20151122_161845_HDR

Give the guy a break. Writing off someone because of 1 freaking word and it was not even creepy.

IMG_20151122_161845_HDR

Another thing they didn’t approve of was ‘toooooootally’ & ‘ Feliz cumpleanos’.

IMG_20151122_161906_HDR

I absolutely disagreed with this opinion and wondered why Rachel had refused to date him.  I asked Uncle what he thought and he could not believe that someone would be rejected for that. He could easily see himself writing such an SMS.

I felt that it was ridiculous that people are rejected on such a frivolous basis and it seems so shallow.

This is acceptable if you are 16 years old but not when you are 25. I wish the author had put in Rachel’s age because that would definitely give me a perspective on the behaviour. If someone is 30 years old and rejects guys based on this, it is pretty obvious why they will not be going out on dates or be in a healthy relationship anytime soon.

The guy is expected to make the first move and if they are rejected for stuff like this, I do not think we can complain when guys copy paste the same message for all girls on online dating sites because that clearly seems to be more efficient.

What do you think?

Review: Laundry Detergents


As I was gradually switching to more eco-friendly products in my beauty routine and home, I came across a post about a local natural brand – Idocare. I bought it once my laundry detergent ran out. 

Idocare Lavender Fields Concentrated Laundry Powder

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I have been using Idocare laundry detergent since Aug 2013. I initially bought it online from their website but later discovered that is was available at a store nearby – Yes Natural where I now buy it.

Price: 12SGD for 1Kg. I used to purchase Attack which now costs about 10SGD for 2-3Kg.

Verdict: The detergent works well  in terms of cleaning side so far and I have no complaints. It lasts us quite a while maybe around 2-3 months. 

The only minor design detail that is not great is that each pack has 1 scoop inside and not outside the plastic bag. It is often always buried deep inside. So, you have to empty half of the bagt at least to get the scoop. That is okay if you are the sort who transfers the detergent to a different box. Usually, I open it and use a clip on the original bag. Therefore, I save the last pack’s scoop for reuse.

Secondly, the clothes come out unscented  or very mildly scented even if the detergent is lavender scent. This is great for babies with allergies.

The other day Uncle said that he was bored with our washed clothes smelling like nothing when conventional detergents smelled so good. He had a point.

 

Why does being eco-friendly mean not great smelling? 

I knew there had to be a solution because clean cosmetics did not smell great earlier and they have improved so much over the last few years.  

On the cost of eco friendly cleaners

Holy shit! Until I was looking up prices for this post,  I had conveniently blocked out the prices of conventional detergents because they are way cheaper. Why does being eco friendly have to be so expensive? Shouldn’t we be the ones getting more discounts because we are making earth friendly choices and choosing not to release too many toxins in the environment.

How can we encourage more people to switch to earth friendly alternatives when it is so expensive?

So much for those who claim switching to a natural lifestyle ‘saved them lots of money’ hmph.

Zum Clean Laundry Soap – frankincense & myrhh

I scouted  local supermarket websites and iHerb for laundry detergents. I came across Zum Clean Laundry Soap on iHerb. It had the best reviews in terms of the scent though some complained that it was too diluted recently. I chose the frankincense & myrhh scent because I have tried the Zum soap with the same scent and it smells awesome. This scent is almost always out of stock and I purchased it the moment it was in stock.

Price:18SGD (ouch!)  for 900mL. It is quite expensive in my opinion considering when I can get 2 litres of conventional laundry detergent for 6SGD.

When I received the package, I was so disappointed. When  I saw the photos, I visualized a large can of detergent like the conventional ones but it was a thin tiny can.

 

Do note that the detergent can be a bit messy to pour out of the can. They recommended using 8 capfuls for a full load in a top loading machine. So, we used about 4 caps for half a load and clearly we overdid it.

Next time onwards, we started using 1.5 caps for a full load + 1/2 scoop of Idocare laundry powder and this combinations works well in terms of smell and costs.

Note: Companies always recommend you to use double the amount of what you actually need so that you will use their products faster and buy more. Applies literally to everything form detergents to face washes. Do not listen to them. 

Verdict: Our clothes smell so good that we love it. They smell great for days afterwards just like conventional detergents. It cleans well too. Overall, it was worth the price tag but I feel it could be cheaper. 

It is my laundry detergent nirvana (mixed with another powder) at the moment!

Other laundry detergents

I feel iHerb does not have a broad range of laundry detergents at the moment. The other day, I checked Cold Storage and was surprised with their wide range. More options to check out in the future!

Notes on laundry usage and cleaning

  1. The reviews are based on laundry usage for 2 adults with no kids.
  2. A typical full load of clothes in our case generally consists of  3-4 western dresses, 1-2 tops, 1-2 men’s shirts, undies, socks, 1-3 hand towels, 1-2 towels,1 bedsheet and 1-2 pillow covers.
  3. My clothes do not get as dirty as it did when I was in India because overall, everything is cleaner. I do not know how these detergents will perform in dustier environments.
  4. We don’t have any kid related messes either. I really do not know these will perform in those cases.
  5. We wash our clothes in room temperature water and do not use hot water.
  6. We use a top loading machine and line dry the clothes. I am not sure if using a dryer would take away some of Zum’s scent.

News: Intolerantly Tolerant India


I was blissfully ignoring useless news like outrage over Bollywood actors’ comments and stuff like that until some popped up in my timeline.

Comments on how Aamir Khan should go back to Pakistan, how he could make movies like PK, he can never do those things in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, how tolerant  India is, how our constitution guarantees secularism ‘unlike other countries’ etc.

My views:

  1. What an intolerant reaction to his comments proving that we are indeed intolerant!
  2. Anytime someone criticizes India, why do we jump to compare ourselves with (non democratic) countries like Pakistan or Saudi? There are over 190 countries in the world and we cherry pick the most intolerant countries and compare ourselves to them and make ourselves feel better. Why doesn’t anybody pick other countries like Switzerland/Sweden to compare to? Because it makes us feel better comparing ourselves to the lowest ranking countries than the 150 who are ahead of us?
  3. Another standard argument is claiming India was so ‘insert any nice adjective’ according to our scriptures 2000 years ago as if that negates the need for improvement now. It does not matter how great things were 2000 years ago, what matter is the situation now and how we can improve it today. There is nothing wrong in being proud of our past but that should not stop us from progressing in the present.
  4. Stating what is granted in our constitution is futile. We have many things but a lot of it is not implemented. How swift is our action against racial/religious crimes? 
  5. I just did not get the idiots who were wasting their time gathering outside Aamir Khan’s house protesting. People hang outside to get a glimpse of all the actors when somebody goes to jail (for like 2 days) for potential hit and run and not protest but protest when people express their views. I feel this kind of joblessness is one of the reasons our country hasn’t progressed.
  6. Now people are sharing posts on why they will boycott brands endorsed by Aamir and Shahrukh because of their statements because they insulted India. How come nobody boycotts brands endorsed by Salman by the same token? So what do support when you buy brands endorsed by Salman? Hit and run? A justice system than bends for movie stars and gives them bail super fast?

Note: Gross generalization ahead but there is plenty of at least some truth in it.

It is the same all over Asia. From this end to the other. From personal relationships to nations. We just cannot accept honest criticism.

  1. We prefer brushing things under the carpet.
  2. We take offense and take is personally without really reflecting when anybody criticizes us. Worse if the said person is an outsider.
  3. We take a worse offender as an example, compare ourselves to them and feel superior.
  4. We cannot accept the truth about ourselves. 

How can anything/anyone improve until they can objectively look at their flaws and work on them.  

Admitting that there is a problem is the first step to solving it. 

Can Foreigners Wear Indian Accessories?


I saw this post on FB today by a second generation Indian blogger on the meaning of different Indian accessories and why foreigners should NOT wear them. Some of the statements in the post really irritated me. 

Here are some of the offensive statements screenshots:Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 10.28.50 pm

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 10.31.28 pm Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 10.32.10 pm Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 10.32.18 pm

And when I pointed out why  I disagreed with this article, she deleted my comment and blocked me from commenting.  I am really disappointed that some bloggers are so shallow and narrow minded. 

Firstly, who is she to tell people what they can wear and when they can wear it? 

Secondly, most Indians don’t know the reasons including all the aunties and grandmas. When asked why, they simply tell you to do it because ‘we must do it.’ Everybody just blindly follows. So, one need not take up this holier than thou attitude on why so many Indian traditions and accessories have such a deep meaning and it is offensive when people wear it without understanding  its significance because by that token, 90% of Indians themselves cannot wear it!

Thirdly, many Indians themselves do not follow the narrow usage and definitions she indicates. I know unmarried girls who wear toe rings. So, I do not qualify wearing a toe ring because I am not married to a south Asian and I am an Indian ha ha. That really was enlightening.

Fourthly, culture is never rigid. It is constantly changing and evolving. Many Indians settled abroad seem to be stuck in some time capsule from the time they left India while India has moved on.

Fifthly, really who finds it offensive when foreigners wear Indian stuff? None of my friends do.

Lastly, we have borrowed and Indianised (yes, there is such a term and I will use it though she finds it offensive) so many things, why should we be offended if people borrow our stuff as long as they give the original author/culture the credit? I mean imagine a life without gobi manchuria because it is cultural appropriation and offensive to some Asians! 

Dear western ladies – Meanwhile wear whatever you please.

I have had enough of Asians making one feel that one is wrong for not being from their cultures. Offended? No problem, just hide behind the complex “you do not understand my culture and you crossed some invisible unsaid line and  I will harass you for it using culture because you are a foreigner and you do not know my culture” argument. People do it to me and I see people do it to foreigners.

Fume in your righteous Indian indignation all you want while I go eat my manchuria 😀

Edited to add:

  1. Blocking and deleting every single disagreement on FB and posting only status updates without the whole argument is not cool. I have learnt not to trust FB pages and their updates because it is so convenient to delete anybody who disagrees with you and state that people are ‘misunderstanding’ you.
  2. I do not buy the argument that NRIs have experienced racism while 1st generation Indians just don’t get it. Well, technically I am a NRI for a full 6 years and I have written several times about racism. I definitely do not want to be patronized like I do not know what racism is and how south Asians are treated abroad.
  3. “But when you jump the gun and think I am being antagonistic, remember who you are speaking with. You know me….Do you really think that’s where I am coming from?” –  Somebody who deletes the other side of argument. How can people get the complete picture when all dissent is silenced?
  4. The article does not state “What not to wear for Halloween”. It mentions a specific incident  and goes on to preach what foreigners can and cannot wear. If someone dresses like the devil and wears bindis and says “Hey! I wore the bindi because I think Indians are devils” I would call that racist. Other than that, not like we own Indian culture just like the west does not own dresses and shirts.
  5. “if it is a part of your culture, who am I to tell you not to wear it?” – Who says you can wear stuff only from your culture. So, basically I am supposed to give up naans, kebabs and manchuria because it is not a part of my culture but what we borrowed and adapted from others?

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Review: Soulflower Soaps


On my recent trips to Hyderabad, I was excited to come across Soulflower soaps in Shopper’s Stop and Lifestyle. The ingredient lists looked good and they all smelled awesome. I picked up 3 of them and have used 2 so far. They range in price from INR 200 to INR 400. I picked up 1-2 soaps on sale for INR 125. So, I would definitely recommend watching out for sales.

Website: http://www.soulflower.biz/c-3-handmade-soaps-vegetarian.aspx 

Soulflower Light me up soap

I also used Baby your skin soap.

Ingredients: Essential oils, gram flour, turmeric, orange peel powder, glycerin, saponified oils 

Soulflower Light me Up Ingredients

Size: 150 g

Review: Smells awesome. I really hope they are not using any chemical scents in their soaps. Lathers well. 

The ‘Light Me Up’ really has turmeric. Our loofah became discloured using this soap but we don’t mind. Do take note if you do not wish to discolour yours. 

The ‘Baby Your Skin’ smelled faintly chocalatey. Lathers equally well.

Rating: 4.5/5

P.S: Overall, I am really glad that natural soaps are now available in India.  However, do take note of many brands that list only the natural ingredients and conveniently do not list the rest which are ‘not so natural’. Another set are the greenwashers which claim to be ‘natural’ but are not. These include Meera herbal powder, Khadi soaps, Biotique etc. 

At The Library – 2


EVERY TIME WE GO TO THE LIBRARY

Not really  every time because the library does not have these kind of promotions all the time.

At the library - 2

Sisterhood of the World Q&A


Madh Mama has nominated me to participate in the Sisterhood of the World Q&A!
 
Madh Mama blogs about intercultural relationships and her life being married to an Indian and all the drama that comes along with it. I love reading her blog because it is an authentic account of the everyday life of a woman. I really hate it when people are fake and act like life is all hunky dory  on social media. Besides, I totally love gossip. Hmm.. maybe I should blog about my personal life more because people would love to know behind the scenes life of Boiling Wok 😛
Questions for me:
 
1. What’s your morning routine?
 My morning routine can be split into 2 parts which are not convergent at the moment – the real one and the fantasy one.
 
My fantasy routine:
  • I bounce out of bed without alarm around 6:00 AM
  • Do some yoga, meditation and journaling
  • Cook a healthy lunch and breakfast for the day
  • Have a nice breakfast in a mindful way
  • Get ready using my natural and healthy beauty routine
  • Go to office on time at 8:30AM

My real routine:

  • Wake up 10 minutes after turning off 2 alarms between 7:30-8:25AM
  • Rush to the bathroom and think of 3 things I am grateful for if I remember to.
  • Do 5 minutes of stretching sometimes but I always feel great when I do it, so I am trying not to skip it.
  • Have a quick shower
  • Wash my face with raw honey or milk – hey, at least part of my natural beauty routine is in place.
  • Drink water with saffron
  • Take my food and tea, if any which is usually prepared the night earlier
  • Reach office anywhere between 8:40-9:20 AM
  • Turn on the computer in office
  • Drink my chai and eat some snacks and fruits in office.
2. What are the best books you’ve read lately, and why?
I have been reading a lot lately and consuming a high number of graphic novels recently because they are quick reads and fun.
I am currently reading and enjoying more than expected – Blaft anthology of pulp fiction which I thought would be no fun and ToxinToxout.
The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction, Vol. I Toxin Toxout: Getting Harmful Chemicals Out of Our Bodies and Our World
Graphic novel I read and liked in the last 3 months – 
Other books I liked are – 
What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-Crash Recruits Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life Looking for JJ (Jennifer Jones, #1) Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
3. What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
Dating and marrying my husband considering that he was not Indian 😀
 
4. What are you an expert at?
Organizing, decluttering, reading, making anything and everything into stepwise bulleted points and doing nothing and staring at the wall for a real long time.
 
5. In what way are you similar to your family, and in what way are you different?
Stubbornness is a trait we all share. I am different in terms of religious and cultural beliefs, my interest in holistic health, organic cosmetics and minimalism.
 
6. What’s your craziest goal?
Not a goal per se but I would love to set a lot of things right if I ever became the political leader of India but I am not interested in joining politics and I am aware that it is going to be one of the most draining experiences of my life.
 
7. In what ways do you hope the world will be different as you age?
I hope it becomes everything we wished for the in the 60s/70s with optimism like science improving our lives dramatically and not in a pessimistic way like earth destruction or some deadly virus spreading all over or our lives taken over by zombies. 
 
8. What’s on your travel bucket list?
A hell lot of places ranging from so many places in India to Americas – north and south to Europe to Australia. Basically everywhere.  I haven’t travelled much lately except going to the USA. Also, I like slow travel which means more time off needed 😛
 
9. What’s your biggest pet peeve about your spouse/partner?
Can be quite critical of  things and sometimes I just am not in the mood to listen.
 
10. Who would you cast to play you in a movie based on your life?
Frankly I cannot think of a single person for this role 😀

My nominations are:

  1. Pepper
  2. Princess-Butter
  3. Anawnimiss
  4. Ruth
  5. Blue bride
  6. Mersha
  7. Jocelyn
  8. My Era
  9. Carly
  10. Sarah Von
  11. Audrey
My questions are:
  1. One beauty product you would recommend to your girlfriends
  2. Three books everybody must read
  3. Favourite online shopping site
  4. Favourite phone app
  5. One dish you are really good at making and its recipe

One of the best piece of life advice


nullOne of the best pieces of life advice I have read recently has been from this article. Especially #11.

“Don’t give fucks like fucks are going out of style.”

“Giving a fuck” is basically your life’s currency. If you give a fuck about everything and everyone, you’ll quickly run out of fucks, or even worse, go into fuck debt.”

Sometimes, when I am overthinking someone’s reaction or things they said, I remind myself of this.If giving a fuck were like giving money, would I really be willing to spend my money on what they thought? It is quite helpful in reframing my perspective when I am in the worrying/overanaylsing mode.

Readers, does this make sense or seem helpful to you?

On finding a refill


My pen ran out of ink the other day and I did not throw it away because I wanted to buy a refill. Why generate more plastic waste by throwing away pens right? However, I could not find a single refill in any of the books or stationary shops. They all had pens but no refills. In the end, I had to buy pens because they simply don’t sell refills. So much for being environment friendly. 

As much so many of us advocate individual action to drive environmental change, some most of it is quite difficult or plain inconvenient without the corresponding change in policies. How many businesses really want to change unless forced to? 

Are fast fashion clothes really cheaply made?


I recently read Overdressed by Elizabeth Cline. It made me aware of the environmental impact of our clothes consumption and provided great insights in how our discarded clothes are processed. However, I found recurring statements of how all fast fashion clothes are cheap and tear apart at their seams after one wash  or two a total exaggeration made just to support the author’s points against fast fashion.

I believe that it is not clothes from fast fashion that are the problem but rather the rate at which we consume them which is the issue.

So, what are the alternatives if fast fashion clothes are so poorly made? Invest $500 every single time I need or want some piece of clothing? Many people clearly cannot afford that and I do not wish to waste my money like that. I do not like thrifting and buying other people’s clothes and there aren’t many good thrifting options in Asia.

I do not think that fast fashion clothes are the only ones made cheaply and that higher end branded stuff are constructed in a much better fashion. Maybe in some aspects but overall there is not much difference in terms of cloth quality. Branded stuff is overpriced just because of the brand. Also, so many high-end brands manufacture mostly in China which is also what fast fashion chains do.

I am actually happy that fast fashion exists because it makes clothing affordable for all. However it is a tad annoying that I cannot find something I liked 2 weeks later because they changed their inventory. 

Most of my clothes are from fast fashion chains mentioned in the book – Uniqlo, H&M, Old Navy, Target and the likes. I do agree that there are some clothes that are flimsily made but I do not buy those.

Almost all of the clothes I have bought from these stores have easily lasted me well over 2 years and some are still in use. 

A lot of them cost me less than $30, some even less than $15. People would naturally take better care of stuff they spent $500 on than they would of something  they spend $20 on. I do not see why I should turn up my nose at perfectly good clothes just because they are fast fashion. None of the high-end brands are into supporting environment or being ethical but into classism and snobbishness – things I do not want to support. 

Also, if you were to check out Greenpeace’s Detox the Catwalk Campaign, you would observe that it is the high-end brands that are not into moving towards ethical fashion.

At the same time, my purchasing habits are an anomaly because I lean towards minimalism. I mainly buy new clothes when I go to the USA (Hello Target and Old Navy) or India and not so often here unless I need something specific or find something I really love. So, in a way I support fast fashion stores but I don’t buy things all the time and really don’t follow trends.

I am getting tired of all these anti-fast-fashion advocates harping on how clothes fall apart in 1 or 2 wears because they do not.  I have known some expensive Italian shoes (Salvatore Ferragamo) falling apart within months as well.

My $10 shoes from Target lasted me well over 1.5 years until they wore off. My $30 wallet lasted me well over 3 years. It is not always you get what you pay for. Why the hell would I spend $2000 on a Prada wallet unless I want to be “seen” with a particular brand and appear snobbish elite when Prada also makes its stuff in China. 

You want to be ethical in purchasing clothes? Buy less and research on ethical clothing companies. However, do not beat yourself up if you can only afford clothes from fast fashion chains because they aren’t that bad when chosen well.

On Tom Cruise


I watched Mission Impossible 5 and I was thinking of how Tom Cruise’s career went down just because he jumped in excitement on the couch in Oprah’s show. It is amazing how he performs many of his own stunts.

I don’t really see that as reason for ostracizing him. Maybe he was acting. Maybe he was over excited. However, I do not really get why his would damage his career in such a fashion.

Meanwhile in Bollywood, you can (maybe) kill someone and still have the entire industry visiting you and coming out in support. Now, that is an act that should result in someone’s career being damaged irreparably but seeing from the response to Bhajrang Bhaijaan and all his other movies, I don’t think so.

Now, I am not really into knowing or admiring movie stars because in real life they all tend to disappoint you in some way or the other. Why is that some people get away with killing and some can’t get away with jumping on a couch in excitement?

It is a messed up world.

Lots of stuff and strange creatures


This is a month of with lots of to-do’s:

  1. Every year during school holidays, the local libraries double the number of books one can borrow. This time,  I go into an overdrive and borrowed 10-12 books (Remaining 4 slots for Uncle). Now,  I have a huge pile of books waiting to be read and be returned by their due dates – talk about books making you feel guilty ha ha.
  2. I still have a lot of TV series  + movies to watch.
  3. Lots of blog posts to read. Usually I am on top of my emails and blog reading. Last week, I guess not.
  4. My cooking projects – kinda running along. Hey, at least I made a chocolate cake, so that’s great. 

    Dark Chocolate Cake
    We eat first and remember to photograph later which explains the cut cake.
  5. Packing Gathering stuff and+ shopping for an upcoming trip 
  6. Language practice – slowed down, I hope to pick it up.

Strange Creatures

Last night as I was walking home, I saw something stuck onto the stairs. I was not sure if it was a frog or a moth or a dried leaf/flower. I wanted to take a closer look at it but people were walking by. I used a leaf to poke it because I felt I was imagining things and it was live and it let out a tiny squeak but did not budge. I took a photo but did not really try to get a better one because:

  • people were walking by and I don’t want to seem like a creep taking photos of people’s legs.
  • my photography skills are not great.
  • I was very nervous that I was going to disturb it and it was going to fly in my face or scurry away (mainly this).

Upon close examination, it seemed like a baby bat to me! I haven’t seen one live before.

Baby bat

I check the stairs in the morning on my way to office and it was gone! 

Music: Nevermind by Leonard Cohen


Last night, Uncle wanted to watch season 2 of True Detective and I was in 2 minds about watching it. I had watched the first season and liked it. However, the moment the opening song of the series started, I was hooked and joined Uncle to watch it. I like how they choose scene appropriate songs in this series – in terms of music and lyrics. They are ominous and creepy all at the same time which is how the TV series is.

Here is the song from season 2 –

Their opening song from season was equally creepy.

News: Gay marriage declared legal across US


Uncle told me the news  that gay marriage was legalised all over the USA by the supreme court just before we went to sleep.

I checked the news and FB next day and my news feed was full of the same news and many people changing their profile pictures to celebrate the news. Hmm…I wonder how many people really know or care about it instead of just following the trend for changing the profile pic just like ALS ice bucket challenge? Of course, there will always be negative Nellies spouting their wisdom. One more country is better than one less country right?! Every step towards progress has to be celebrated because we are better off today than yesterday.

In case you are wondering (or new to the blog) I am glad that they have finally legalised it because love rules 🙂 Also, I believe sexuality can largely be genetic and I do not believe people should be punished for their genes. I mean, how many of us spent time deciding we will be attracted only to the opposite gender?

To be honest, even the cynical me was touched to see photos of so many happy couples overjoyed at the ruling.  Couples who waited decades for their relationships to be legal.

I am hoping it will happen soon in India as well. 

News: FDA Sets 2018 Deadline to Rid Foods of Trans Fats


I am quite glad to hear the news that FDA wants all the companies to remove trans-fats from the food by 2018.  It took them so many years to admit that trans-fats were bad and I am glad that they are moving towards removing it from our foods.

Can you imagine that they were telling us to do the opposite and consume trans-fats several decades ago. That’s how margarine and other low fat spreads emerged.

Indians would definitely remember Dalda. 

I find it interesting how food trends change just like fashion. Earlier fat was the enemy, now sugar is the root of all evil. I wonder where all these health bloggers/food coaches were when we were fighting fats in food? I don’t trust any food trends anymore because we do not know when they may be proved completely wrong.