I need more hours in a day.

I promise that more of my Japan trip will be coming up soon. Work has been keeping me so busy and I’m still suffering the withdrawal symptoms of missing Japan. Really want to dump everything and go on another trip. Pfft.

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Lost in translation takes a new meaning

There are many words in foreign languages that are lacking in English. For instance, Pelinti (Buli, Ghana).
when you bite into a piece of piping hot apple pie and right before you realise that that was a huuuuuge mistake, and you end up looking like a blowfish because you’re trying to cool and move around the molten hot lava in your mouth? That’s called Pelinti, a word the Ghanaians created for twits like myself. It literally means “to move hot food around in your mouth.”

I wonder if there’s a word that will aptly describe the jumble of emotions that courses through a traveler’s first solo trip. Mine is nothing short of trepidation and excitement. My brain has also decided to shut down because of the tumultuous emotions; too much conflict for one brain to handle. In a fortuitous change of events, I am so much closer to fulfilling one of my bucket list goals, but I definitely did not see it coming this quick. I’m not exactly prepared. I feel much better typing this out. I know no one reads this, but if you’re out there, and you’re reading this, I hope you won’t judge me too much. I’m excited, scared, anxious and slightly unprepared. I get lost in Mustafa, ok? (it’s a shopping centre…)

This is all quite surreal, and guano is about to hit the ceiling when I reach Narita and happily board the Shinkansen for Kyoto instead of Hokkaido. Ohshitwrongtimetopanic.  What’s the worst that can happen right? Breathe, Jaisree Jessica, breathe. I may find myself by getting lost. I just hope I don’t get so lost that I miss the train. 

3 more days

In keeping with the tradition of every holiday, my biggest fear will be realised after the vacation; the battle of the bulge. I went to Gold Coast last year, and came back with more than just chocolates and grain waves. This time I’m determined not to make the same mistakes. Already my jeans are tight from lack of exercise (bloody patellar tendonitis). Ouch. As I’m typing this, my right knee just protested vehemently by sending waves of mind-numbing and stinging pain. I miss BodyPump. So, no drinking cheap wine by the bottle (oh yes…sacrilegious, I know), stuffing one’s face with Domino pizza (Gold Coast had this awesome Tuesday Domino promotion), and chocolates. I mean this is Japan. Land of the healthy, tofu-eating, seaweed nation right? I’ll just have to religiously avoid places that sell Hokkaido Ice cream by the tubs (did I mention that I’m going to Hokkaido?), Royce Chocolates and every other yummy pastries that the Japanese are so fond at perfecting. I’m not sure all the loss of sleep will be worth it.  Yes, I think about what I’ve eaten for the day at night and make feeble promises to not repeat the same gluttonous mistakes the next day. Naturally I forget and the cycle goes on.

I need to keep gluttony under lock and key. Preferably locked with no key in sight. 

These 45 Shockingly Sexist Vintage Ads Will Make You Glad To Live In 2013

Wow. As a copywriter, I can only say some of the headlines here are atrocious. I mean, the misogynistic idea apart, some of the headlines are trite and honestly, vanilla. Keep her where she belongs and do you still beat your wife? Hmm..no, just no.

Thought Catalog

There are times when I feel pretty good about living in today’s society, and this is one of them. While doing research on racist ads last week, I found just as many vintage advertisements that were shockingly sexist, in a way it would be a lot harder to get away with today. (Just ask Belvedere Vodka.) From beating (#14, #28, #34) and murdering (#6) your wife to sexual assault overtones (#37), all’s fair in the ad game.

Here are 45 vintage ads that may make you want to rage quit the internet today. Prepare your brain. [tc-mark]

1. Leggs

2. U.S. Navy

3. Subaru

4. F.S.C.

5. Parker

6. Pitney Bowes

7. Captain Morgan

8. Kellogg’s

9. Kenwood

10. Dorothy Gray Salon

11. Tipalet

12. Panasonic

13. Lux

14. Chase and Sanborn

15. Hardee’s

16. Warner’s

17. Palmolive

18. Chemstrand Nylon

19. Brown

20. Datacomp

21. VanHeusen

22. Volkswagen

23…

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The Cancer-Test Kid

Something’s are worth sharing. Like a 15-year old teenager who invented an inexpensive but accurate diagnosis strip that can detect diseases in its early stages at John Hopkins University.

When most 15-year olds had their noses glued to GTA, Skyrim (ok, I love Skyrim) and World of Warcraft (is this even still popular?), Jack Andraka was toiling away at John Hopkins University to create a better and more affordable cancer-detecting test. This young protégé may only be starting out, but imagine the things he could accomplish in the next few years. Awesome and inspiring. I wish I had been more interested in Science when I was in secondary school, but clearly, I had a passion for chocolates, books and words. 

http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/34759/title/The-Cancer-Test-Kid/ 

Men, I’ve had enough.

Dating is a mind-numbing game with rules that flip inside-out like a capricious bitch. It’s enough to drive a single girl crazy. I mean do I text him? And if he replies a day later, does that mean he’s not interested? Because if you’re enamoured by someone, you don’t ignore them. These words are passed on by a sacred group called Sisterhood. And yet, some men say they DO ignore the girls for a few days to give an impression that they’re playing it cool. You want cool? Oh, why don’t you just freeze over already. 

So many questions spin out of control, and way too many ambiguous answers that only lead to more questions. Some men say they like the chase, other’s not quite as much. If the girl responds immediately, she’s too eager, therefore clingy. If she doesn’t respond too enthusiastically, he’ll tell himself that he has tried, but since she didn’t bite the bait, he’ll go fish elsewhere.

No matter how old I am, this is probably the only game in the world with more rules than a bloody insurance policy. And even insurance policies ensure you’re covered. More or less. How many times do we have to put our necks on the line, our hearts on our sleeves, and our sanity questioned over and over again. Sometimes it’s too much trouble. No wonder, we’re turning to cats. 

It doesn’t matter who you fall in love with, because it’ll always be the wrong person

On one of Reddit’s AMAs (60 year old redditors, what advice/tips would you share with someone half your age) today, I came across a really good piece of advice from a user who shared with us what his/her grandmother had passed on to him/her. 

It doesn’t matter who you fall in love with, because it’ll always be the wrong person

Those words struck a chord with me. After all these months, I still wish he had realised this. That no one is perfect, there will be disappointments, and there are seasons of highs and lows. But it doesn’t matter anymore, I suppose. 

Off to bed with runaway thoughts. 

Sinhala stole my heart

Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve been lucky enough to visit twice. The first time was for 3 weeks, and the most lucid memory of that trip involved a baboon grabbing me by my dress in Kandy. Oh, and food poisoning of the worst kind. I also distinctly remember lying on a metal surface, staring up at a rickety ceiling fan. That was 20 years ago. Also, I was too young to know that the country was torn apart by a turbulent civil war back then. But I went back to Sri Lanka, and I never wanted to leave. 

I had the privilege of going there for one week in February. I had no idea what to expect when I finally landed in Sri Lanka. I had seen enough travel documentaries of Sri Lanka post civil war, but what awaited me was an interlacing of two beautiful different worlds.

I was blown away by her cascading and verdant tea plantations, misty peaks veiled in billowy clouds, the bumpy terrains that were more mud than asphalt, the stark contrast between slightly derelict but magnificent colonial bungalows and haphazardly built houses.  In the city auto-cars deftly negotiated winding alleyways, and a train chugged along the main road en route to Kandy.  She’s a country emerging from the rubbles of her bloodied past. I saw resilience in every concrete buildings and every dilapidated fort. Gumption is etched in the smiling faces of her people. Sri Lankans are genuinely friendly people. I felt the intangible touch of hospitality everywhere.

Colombo is bustling with so much zing, that it’s impossible not to love it. I fell in love with it the second I got lost in its heritage. The city is intertwined in a marvelous patchwork of antiquity and sudden modernity. There are colonial forts erected every few miles; her battle scars stand proudly amidst developing buildings. It’s easy to spend an entire day walking around sprawling temples filled with ancient relics and intricately sculpted Buddha statues. If like me, you love getting lost in history, culture, and places, go without an itinerary. Just go armed with a bottle of water and sunglasses if you’re there around February.

The scorching sun and sticky humidity gave me an excuse to seek refuge at one Colombo’s famous hotel, The Galle Face Hotel. The historical architecture is reminiscent of its proud colonial era. From the verandah I could see the Galle forts along the rocky seaside, threatening to crumble into the waves thrashing against the concrete walls. 

After a refreshing mojito, pensive moments and some pictures of the stunning views of the Indian Ocean, I left with a tinge of reluctance. I had stepped into its glorious past and I wasn’t ready to leave. Plus, at that time I had no idea it was listed in the book “1000 Places to See Before You Die”. In fact…I don’t think I was ready to leave Sri Lanka at all. That’s another story for never actually. 

 

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Day 2. Chilling at Verandah

After a day in Colombo, we drove up to Hill Country. It took us around 8 hours on the road to reach Hatton. Words no matter how ardently and skillfully used, aren’t sufficient to describe Hill Country’s exquisite beauty. After a warm and sumptuous lunch pitstop at a restaurant in Kitulgala overlooking gorgeous views of the famous Kelani River (The Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed there), we continued on our way up. Sri Lankan cuisines are quite similar to Indian food, spices and all. But they use a lot of coconut shavings. 

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Day 3. Lunch pit-stop at Kitulgala

It was a slightly precarious car ride, our driver was gingerly negotiating hairpin bends to Hatton. But every turn unveiled a delightfully different view; a stunning panorama of flora and fauna that beckoned us deeper into Hill Country. It’s a different country there. Wild and free; Hatton is infused in the smell of nature. There was an air of sanguinity in every town as we drove through Hatton. It also became chilly, but that’s normal. I just needed a shawl. We skipped Adam’s Peak unfortunately, but we caught glimpses of it while driving up. We didn’t have time to stop at Hortons Plains either. I really want to explore the rest of Hill Country on my next trip. 

We stayed at a place somewhere near Castlereagh Bungalows. I can’t remember the exact name of this place, but if I go back to Hatton, I’d get a similar bungalow. The view from my room cannot be summed up in a single word. Stunning? I woke up to lacustrine views every morning, reflecting the soul of Hatton; its tea plantations. At night, the sky was a velvety canvas of twinkling marvels. I sneaked out on both nights with a drink to stargaze with only my wondering thoughts as company. And some pesky insects, of course. On one of the nights, I saw a few blinking orange orbs amidst the plantations across the lake, on the other side, that would twinkle for a while and disappear and reappear. I found out those were actually the headlights of vehicles. Driving in darkness. That is ballsy. 

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Day 4. The first morning at Hatton. The lake wasn’t calm this day, or it would’ve been a gorgeous sight.

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Day 4. I left the family to explore the wild.

I’ll continue with the other half of my trip soon.