nusa penida: spotting the mola mola, a circular freak of nature

This was it. The biggest big gun of diving in Bali – Nusa Penida. A barely-inhabited island off the southeast coast of Bali, protected from humans by its sheer, imposing cliffs.

boat quay, singapore, world

A city-state is a peculiar thing. There are no county borders nor state lines. Geographical, political, and legal threads are forced to crisscross and intertwine, like the ribbons of a double helix. In Singapore, the suburbs, malls, forests, seaside, rivers, financial district, commercial belt, cultural enclaves and political constituencies jostle for breathing space in a land area smaller than NYC, an overcrowded fungi population gasping for air.

indialogues #1: faith

“Hello,” said the swarthy Indian priest. I stubbed out my cigarette at the threshold of the prayer courtyard overlooking diminutive Pushkar Lake. Enrobed like a giant nut in swathes of white, he held out his hand for me to shake. “Welcome to Pushkar. Where are you from?” “Singapore.” “Ah, Singapore! Very rich country, very rich.” … Continue reading

munich: a religious experience in pork

Those who know me well, know that pork lies at the top of my hierarchy of food. Interestingly, Germany, with its international renown for being one of the Meccas of Meat, has never been at the top of my must-go destinations. Utterly undeserved, stereotypical pre-conceptions of the country have tainted my judgment of this country … Continue reading

new york: (un)divine comedy

New York in the summer is not a pleasant place. Descending the steps of a subway station is akin to descending, unassisted by any benevolent Virgil, into Dante’s Inferno. Whirls of dry, baked air rush up to sear your already-parched skin, while the dank, salty aroma of human sweat lingers stickily after each passenger, forming … Continue reading

barcelona: a ball of a time

Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator – Gaudí Thanks to Gaudí, the architecture of Barcelona is characterized by eccentric manifestations of myths and nature – rooftops are backbones for the scales of fantastic dragons, while onion-like domes garnish spires overlooking the city. … Continue reading

bogotá: crab lovejuice

For the non-Spanish-speaking denizens out there, the words painted so proudly on the blue wall proclaim this: Powerful berraquilo. Natural Viagra. Savage love! Now who wouldn’t want a slice of that saucy cake, huh? Especially while spending an entire day with a bike between one’s legs, cycling the length and, most probably, breadth of the … Continue reading

ecuador :: river antics

Practical information about the rafting company and lodge can be found below, at the end of this post. Sitting in a white-water raft, for the uninitiated, is an exercise in suspension of disbelief. When my guide, Gregory, told us how we were to position ourselves in the bright blue raft, I snorted. Sit sideways on … Continue reading

singapore: what to call home?

It might be slightly paradoxical to write about home in a travel blog, but with recent developments in Singapore’s landscape and my growing absence from the country, I am starting to view my birthplace with strongly opposing forces: the heart of a native and eyes of a foreigner. My memory of the past collides only … Continue reading

colombia: happy as a pig in slop

Sometimes, on the road in less-developed countries, when I am forking out sums of cash that mean little to me but might feed a local family for a week, or when I catch furtive glances or a suppressed smile on the faces of passers-by, I am suffused by a feeling that the entire country and … Continue reading