Where’s the BOMB ! (Disastrous Singapore Trip – Part 6)

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The above picture was taken at the Raffles Quay, shot with the Pentax A 50mm f1.7 at ISO 400 with my Pentax K200D during my last night at Singapore.

Finally at Singapore airport, I realized I have made it in good time. Thanks to the online check-in and printed boarding pass, I was able to breeze through the check-in process and had almost 2 hours before the flight time.

I thought I should use this time to start blogging about the trip, but I could not find any place to power up my laptop. I felt this was strange considering the hi-tech airport, so I walked and walked the length and breadth of the airport trying to find a power point. I did this for about an hour and finally when I was about to give up, he presto, I find this bank of desks with power points for laptop users. I heaved a sigh of relief but with only one hour to go I realized did not have much time.

I hooked up my laptop and powered it up only to find that a separate registration is required which needs a local mobile number. I thought I was lucky that I had one and filled in the registration form online. I did not receive any password on my mobile for the next 10 minutes. So I rechecked if I had entered the correct number and Hey Presto! I find that I had entered the wrong number L I call the airport IT helpdesk only to find that they cannot help me with this issue and I will need to contact their service provider. What the crap !!! I gave up and packed my bags as only had 30 min left before the flight.

I turn around to check the flight time table and find the status of my flight ‘GATE CLOSING’. I cursed Singapore Airlines for closing the gate this soon and started running to my scheduled gate. The gate was on the other end of the airport. I thought I was going to miss my flight for sure this time and started running at breakneck speed with my backpack on my back. Everyone was staring at me (I generally stand out with my head gear) thinking…”Where’s the BOMB”.  

By the time I reach the gate, breathless and about to collapse, I realize that the boarding has just started. I query the crew on the status of the flight as stated on the timetable and the response I get is…”Sir, another 15 minutes before the gate closes J” . I cursed like hell and finally boarded the flight, praying to God to let this be the last mishap before I get home.

 Thankfully, the flight landed at Bangalore without any problems apart from the fact that the crew forced their choice of food on me rather than the one I wanted because they were short in supply. I hated the food but after all had happened on the trip, I just chose to ignore it.

 That was the end of the sojourn which I have chronicled over 6 posts. Adios Singapore !

 

 

Quote at a Restaurant (Disastrous Singapore Trip…..Part 5)

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The above picture was taken at the Raffles Quay, shot with the Pentax A 50mm f1.7 at ISO 400 with my Pentax K200D during my last night at Singapore.

It was the last day at Singapore. I woke up and packed my stuff. I know  would have very little time post my last meeting of the trip, to come back, pick up my stuff and then take off.

I was back to the ‘The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’ for a ‘one for one free’ breakfast and then to the office. Not too bad a Friday morning, it passed peacefully and soon I found myself heading to grab some lunch before I took off for my final presentation.

This lunch place also served basic Indian cuisine. While I am not too high on Indian food while travelling  was tempted to order a Biryani because a slogan on the wall said – “Exotic Indian Food – It’s one thing to have the best ingredients from far  away lands, another to have a nagging Indian Chef in the kitchen” or something like it J. I could not help but smile and ordered Indian food.

I went back to the office, picked up my laptop and joined the sales guy to the customer place. We reached there, only to find that the customer was busy and would take some time before he is available. My pulse started rising, I am generally the one who prefers to be at the airport way ahead of time. Hence,  I  checked-in online and printed my boarding pass to save some time. Finally the client manager was available and I made my presentation and was out on the street trying to hail a cab.

As luck would have it, no cabs in this deserted part of town. I waited and waited and waited and after about 20 minutes finally got a cab. I requested him to take me to the guest house and wait there while I collected my luggage and then take me to the airport. The cab driver was fine with the arrangement. I reached the guest house in good time thanks to the non-peak hour, paid the driver and ran to the apartment to pick up my luggage. By the time I came the taxi was gone. Low Behold ! I shouldn’t have paid him for the last trip.

Thankfully, I was able to hail another cab in no time and was finally on the way to the airport…

 

Disastrous Singapore Trip….Part 4

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Back to the Singapore trip…Another souvenir ….This one at the Raffles Quay, shot with the Pentax A 50mm f1.7 at ISO 400 with my Pentax K200D

The couple of Panadols which I had popped in seemed to have done some good. Though I was restless throughout the night I slept till late and woke up feeling much better. This was good in a way as I had a number or customer meetings and presentations that day.

Before I left for work I thought I will have breakfast at ‘The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’. Guest what? To my amazement they had a special going on Breakfasts. One with one FREE! For a ‘gastronome’ this was heaven sent. I enjoyed the hearty breakfast and made my way to work.

The day was busy with multiple meetings and presentations. Some customers vying for blood, the others much more appreciative of your efforts. A mixed bag of responses throughout the ‘loooooong’  day.

Late in the evening, I left office and since I was feeling much better I thought the trip would be incomplete without some pictures of the city. So I took a cab and headed straight to Raffles Quay, the pictures of the place you have seen in my previous posts. It was a good 20-30 min walk along the river and I managed to get some good pictures, thanks to my Pentax A 50mm f1.7. Believe me, my admiration for this lens increases day by day. Manufactured in the 80’s this lens still does not fail to amaze me with its capabilities, considering I got it in exchange for my old Pentax K1000 (Film SLR) body only. It’s a low light hero apart from the fact that it is manual focus.

I then hailed a cab, dropped my laptop at the guest house and was back at Swenson’s for some dinner.  I enjoyed a good pasta and then went to the Super Market to buy some Chocolates and other condiments for family and friends, that night being the last night in Singapore.

No sooner had I landed back at the guest house, did I receive a call from the Mrs. checking if I had bought a gift for her. It was already 10:30 PM and I was sure I would not get time the next day, especially because I had a customer presentation, a few hours before my flight back home. Thankfully, Mustafa’s was right next door and is open 24×7. I managed to grab a gift for the wife.  Mustafa’s is a hard to believe place in a country like Singapore. You should check it out when you are in Singapore next.

Back to the Guest house, I was dead tired so I just crashed with a plan to pack my stuff in the morning.

 

North Indian Dosa

I take a break from the narration of the Singapore trip to share my experiences of cooking Dosa’s at home. While I can manage most of the basic cooking items, being from the northern part of India, my culinary skills are limited to dishes from the region. However, I do enjoy delicacies from Southern India but have never tried my hands at it.

The other day, the Mrs was exhausted, after back to back work related calls, and I was ordered into the kitchen to do the Dosa’s, while she had already done the Potato Masala. The batter for the Dosa’s was ‘readymade’ so she was expecting a decent output. I said I will do the ‘Roti’s but Mrs wanted to have the Dosa’s.

As some of my South Indian friends know it, it wasn’t as easy as it seems. What should be the optimal temp of the hot plate, how much batter to be poured in one shot, how much oil to be used and worst of all, who knew you need to add some salt to the batter. There was nobody to answer the questions. “YouTube’ could have come to the rescue, but there was no time. It was getting late.

There I was. Pouring the batter on the hot plate, which would stick to the plate like glue because I had not used enough oil, or spilling the batter all around the kitchen, or if I was able to do one side of the dosa well, there was nobody to tell me that it is not required to turn it around to cook the other side, it is just supposed to be that way. Apparently, I was still in the “Paratha” mode.

By the end of it all, the kitchen looked like war zone and I knew the cockroaches will have a whale of a time that night if it was not cleaned up. It took me another 30 minutes to clean up the whole mess.

Wife’s reaction ‘They are not that bad. Pretty darn good!’. My friends at work know otherwise!

Before I go, a picture of Buddhist Monks, reciting their daily prayers at the Golden Temple Monastery at Bylakuppe, Karnataka. Taken with the Pentax 18-250mm lens at ISO 800 on the Pentax K200D

 

 

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Disastrous Singapore Trip……Part 3

Buzy sunday morning….expecting a friend over in the afternoon..hence a lot of cleaning up to do 🙂 … So where did we leave off…ah yes!..I  had taken off to work with a bl**dy sore throat…

Thankfully when I reached office, I was told that there were no presentations or meetings scheduled for that day…I heaved a sigh of relief as the throat was not holding up…after every couple of hours I used to hit the restroom to gargle the infection off..

Since there was nothing scheduled that day, I took off in good time to hit the ‘Lim Sim Square’, a mecca for electronics freaks…I wanted to check out an upgrade for my SLR but realized in some time that it would set me back by around $1500, so decided otherwise. One thing which surprised me was that Pentax did not even have a miniscule market share in Singapore too. In some places, when I asked for Pentax, people started at me as if I had shouted ‘bloody murder’….however, in about 45 minutes I realized my throat was getting worse and my body was failing me. I hailed a cab and went back to the guest house, but not before catching another set of mains at ‘Swensons’ with a free soup, drink and ice-cream (which I had to opt out of). Post this I went back, took a couple of gargles in saline water and crashed. But with the throat this bad, sleep was hard to come by. I could barely swallow and woke up after every couple of hours.

Thankfully it was light soon, I got up and got ready for work. Had an early meeting scheduled. I could feel the throat getting better but a massive cold coming up which I dreaded.

I felt a strange problem in Singapore. You step out and within minutes you are drenched because of the high humidity. You steup back in and a massive blast of chilled air hits you as all places have the aircon on at 16-18 deg with the fans at maximum speed. So is the case with all the cabs. It literally kills your body. Later when I spoke to other colleagues about this, they mention that they feel this way too.

Anyways, the day passed through with a couple of meetings and eveybody commenting that my condition was deteriorating. I went to the nearest pharmacy, bought some Vitamin C’s and a Panadol (Paracetamol) and popped them in. An hour or so later, I was feeling much better so stuck around at work. Took off in the evening and thought I will visit another electronics mall in the city. Landed there but in a few minutes felt my legs giving way, so took a cab back to the guest house and rested for a while, after popping in another panadol.

After a while, I thought of grabbing some dinner but did not feel like going too far, so landed back at Swensons with the three free add-ons (no ice-cream though). Back again to the guest house and and crashed after a couple of saline gargles and panadol. The fever and body pain were getting worse and worse. This was getting BAD. I thought if this did not get better by next day, I will have to see the doctor.

Ah…the friends are here. Need to log off…more in Part 4…but before I go, the picture below taken at the Marina Quay with the Pantax A 50mm at f1.7 with the K200D.

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Disastrous Singapore Trip…Part 2

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back to the keyboard…I have been pretty occupied through the week…work, home obligations, visiting friend, etc, etc…hence could not pen Part 2 till now. So here I am…

Well the Journey to Singapore for uneventful, thankfully! However, I would make a special mention to the braised lamb served onboard Singapore airways, which I stuffed myself on, inspite of the heavy pizza I had had, only a couple of hours ago 🙂

However, as luck would have it, no sooner did I land at the Changi airport, I could sense a sore throat coming. By the time I boarded the cab and reached the guest house, it was getting worse. I thought some rest might do me good, so I brushed and showered and hit the sack. But how could I get sleep at 9 in the morning? I tossed and turned in bed for an hour or so, finally got up frustated and decided to get to work. But the throat was getting worse and I now had a hard time swallowing too. So I got ready and stepped out of the guest house (which I must say was pretty good, much beyond my expectations) to get myself some salt, to gargle the sore throat off. It was only then did I realize that how bad a humidity level of 79% can get. Within minutes I was sweating and was wet down to my core….eek! Anyways purchased some salt at the local grocers along with some milk, juice and cookies…back to the guest guest house, a quick gargle…did not do much good but still decided to get to work.

Just as I was about to hail a cab, I realised I was getting pretty hungry so thought I should grab a quick bite. So off I went to ‘Swensens’ at the nearby mall and ordered meself some pasta bake. They had a lunch special going….a dessert free with mains….holy canoli !!! unfortunately all desserts were ice-cream based 😦 so I had to contend myself with a Mochachinno….

Getting late on a Saturday now so think I should hit the sack lest the wife wakes up and gives me the nasty stare…more in Part 3…

before I go….the picture above is of the Marina Quay taken handheld with the Pentax A 50mm f1.7 on my Pentax K200D