Tag Archives: travel

India!

11 Nov

I’ve wanted to go to India for years and this is a dream come true.

Nepal and India were top on my list and I can say I’ve been to both.

For me, this is more than a trip – in some way I feel like I’m discovering my roots. I’m Pakistani, but India and Pakistan were once one and though the culture differs immensely its also very similar.

I feel so lucky, so blessed and so excited to be embarking on this trip. And having the chance to see India during divali, getting there for a mere $215 rather than nearly $2000 it would cost from Canada.

I’ve had some emotionally trying times as of late – just trying to figure myself out and who I can trust and rely on, who I love and who I really am. But this is one hell of a picker-upper.

In Delhi I’m going to meet a good friend of mine from Toronto who I worked at the body shop with. She is one awesome chick. Then, Tara and i are off to Agra and Jaipur.

En Route to India

O-M-G!

Happy divali, or as they call it in Nepal, Tihar.

India, here we come!!!

Settling in to life in Nepal

10 Jul

Kathmandu is much like I expected it to be. The area we are staying in while we apartment hunt is not though.

The city is a lot like Karachi and Mauritius but the traffic is much more terrifying than I had guessed, even after being warned. This is a ‘traffic jam’ I saw today near our place during lunch today. I think I enjoyed the scene much more than I should have. 
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The blackouts here are scheduled, but so long. Right now we have blackouts for 5 hours a day, twice a day. It changes day to day and we have a printed schedule but instead of being in the middle of the night it’s smack dab in the middle of the day. The next one will begin in about an hour.

Today for lunch we went to ‘Trendy Cafe’ which was just a few minutes away and, as it suggests, quite trendy. Although we were the only ones there, but I did get the feeling that it was trendy at some points in the day or night. It was a restaurant that I trusted.

other volunteer, and to-be roommate, Tara

My lunch:

Steamed vegetable Momos. Pretty much a dumpling.

Chicken Korai or something.

Coffee, mocha, cookies, mixed at “Coffee Time” :

Me with a coffee, chocolate, milkshake, cookie mix thing. Delicious.

 

We are considering our options for our apartment. One of the other volunteers and I are going to be getting a place together. Who wants to live alone? She is going to Switzerland for a conference in 10 days and won’t be back till beginning August so we don’t know what to do about that…try to find an apartment before or wait till August? This week waiting is fine as the office is next to the passage house but starting next week our language lessons are far and when I start work in two weeks that is very far. So, I don’t know yet.

Back to Orientation. See ya later.

xxx

Ayesha

The day before

6 Jul

I woke up this morning to a call from London. It was my twin telling me he’s going to be at Heathrow Airport on Sunday, waiting for me, hoping that we’ll be able to meet for coffee.

Originally, I was supposed to have a layover for 10 hours at Heathrow which was amazing because I haven’t seen my twin since he was last visiting Toronto in October. I think this is the longest we have ever gone not seeing one another. They managed to find me an earlier flight to Nepal (via Doha) so I’ll only be in layover in London for 3 hours. During this time I need to switch terminals, go through customs, perhaps get my bags, perhaps not, and go through security once more. To be honest, I’m not sure how much time there will be to meet my twin, but we will be trying. Today we are working out logistics as to where to meet as Heathrow is enormous.

I hate layovers. Even when I am going on vacation for a week, when I am in layover I freak. I cry. I pace. I buy anything I can to keep myself occupied. I love to travel, but have never been able to get over layovers. I just can’t figure it out. I’m hoping meeting my bro will make the layover in Heathrow very awesome, fun and quick. I did however have a dream that I missed my flight and so I am slightly worried about it. But, life’s short!

Today is my last day at Job #2…since I’m leaving tomorrow. Yesterday as I was going to find someone to cover the phones at Job #2 because I had to pee, I was startled to find a circle of all the employees gathering around in the back. This never, ever happens. They bought me a Red Velvet decadent cake and a going away card. I was so surprised. I’ve only been at this job part-time for 6 months and most of the employees have been here for 15-30 years!! I felt so supported.

Today is my last day, but many of them won’t be around today, so we did the cake thing yesterday. How sweet.

In the evening I took my niece and nephew, who I live with, for frozen yogurt and candy and of course stuffed myself with both. What a mess.

Then, we went home and my niece painted my nails as we watched the new 90210 (ick!) while my nephew ignored us and played his computer game.

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My nails painted by my talented niece. This is how we bond…

I’m gonna miss those lil monsters.

Tonight, Zak and I are going to Niagara Falls for the night. As it’s his birthday tomorrow, and it will be bitter-sweet as I am leaving, I thought at the very least we could have a nice night together at a seedy motel in Niagara. I’ll post pix.

xxx

Ayesha

Packing 101

3 Jul

I am an over-packer to a new degree.

I have unpacked and repacked my 3.5 bags three times already in the week that they have been full. I then packed all my other crap into boxes to leave in my friend’s garage.

My bags for Nepal are now taking over my big sister’s living room.

Ayesha’s Rules for packing:

  • Try hard to organize suitcase
  • Roll all clothes to make for extra room
  • Pack clothes you’ll definitely wear, clothes you may wear and clothes you’ll definitely not wear
  • Need for electronics and entertainment: CDs, DVDs, laptop, netbook
  • notebooks in case I get in the writing mood, sketchbook in case I learn to draw while abroad, collage notebook for when I go through a crafty-spell
  • camera
  • Two cell phones in case my Android is too advanced I need my old Blackberry (I hope it still works!)
  • Bring stuff for orphans I may find roaming around Nepal…I have a big heart
  • Need to look good: pack jewelry in case I’m not in the mood to wear beautiful, hand-made and affordable jewelry from Nepal; Makeup
  • Health is important: Need vitamins, medications that went bad over a year ago that I found packed away in an old suitcase
  • Snuggie
  • You never know what you may feel like doing in 10 months: pack a bathing suit and scuba diving license though I am going to a land-locked country and have not gone swimming since I stopped my introductory swim lessons last winter
  • HYDRATION: 2 metal water bottles, a plastic water bottle that was on sale with a filter that specifically says it will not protect against dirty/infested (ie ‘developing world’) water

Next steps:

  • Unpack everything and repack
  • Try and get rid of a few things
  • End up throwing in more things I may need

Finally:

  • Go through this step once more

I end up with:

  • One of the largest suitcases known to wo/man
  • backpack to wear at airport
  • two small suitcases that can be used as carry-ons to keep more clothing

**EDIT** Here is what the corner of the living room looks like…