September 30, 2022

For a free giraffe

Some years back Thao invited me to the Pham Viet Chanh neighbourhood assuring free views of giraffe (and other tall animals) from the Saigon zoo across the canal. Now this has become my home. If you are at the zoo, you can see a large dark animal across the canal for free.

Pham Viet Chanh in Saigon

Pham Viet Chanh in Saigon

Pham Viet Chanh in Saigon

Pham Viet Chanh in Saigon

Pham Viet Chanh in Saigon

Pham Viet Chanh in Saigon

Saigon
September 17, 2022

Yangtze

Can you love another country so much that you dedicate most of your life to it? In the early 1980s, a Japanese musician Sada Masashi visited China on a concert tour and fell in love with Yangtze river. He returned to China to make a documentary on the river and the life along it. It was expensive filming, had to hire People’s Liberation Army Air Force helicopters for the aerial shots. Sada Masashi took out a 3.5 billion Yen loan for the production. It took him 30 years to repay the loan.

The result is a beautiful time capsule of the unique period in China’s modern history. It’s on Youtube with Japanese narration, Chinese subtitles. Don’t worry about the language, just let the visuals speak.

.

There are many interesting backstories and trivia about this, remind me when we meet

Yangtze Sada Mashashi returns to China.

Yangtze Sada Mashashi hitchhikes. The documentary is shot very much how vlogs are presented these days. Though in those days, they would have had a crew following the presenter around.

Yangtze Sada Mashashi finds kids floating on a tyre and fishing in the pod with their bare hands.

Yangtze The Buddha or Leshan in Sichuan province.

Yangtze Sada Mashashi is not happy with how the Japanese army destroyed Nanjing.

Yangtze Probably one of the earliest crepe maker in China. 80s was like the spring. Things were getting relaxed in China. People were putting up small business.

China Japan Travel
July 1, 2022

Why I love Saigon

Someone sketched me

A staff at the cafe I was at came by to show me a sketch she made of me. I was drawing something on the iPad. I am already her fan for the full head of hair. I love this city for its spontaneous and happy people.

June 21, 2022

It was good knowing China

China let us in homes, trains and hearts in the coldest North. China fed us and stayed up all night drinking with us in the wildest West. It was nice to know China when it was curious.

https://restofworld.org/2022/china-airbnb-exit-impact/

AirBnB leaving China

Now when I miss China, I go to Cambodia. Parts of Phnom Penh feel like 2000s China.

China in Phnom Penh Fancy houses.

China in Phnom Penh Golden Street. When people from China first started to move to China in early 2000s, they found making money difficult. They used to call Cambodia Qian Bu Zai.” This sounds like the Chinese name for Cambodia (Jian Bu Zhai) but also sound like There is no money.”

China in Phnom Penh

China in Phnom Penh Money changer.

China in Phnom Penh

China in Phnom Penh The smaller alleys have food from all over China.

Smelly Tofu Smelly Tofu.

June 7, 2022

The water hut

It’s hot in Mangalore and finding such water coolers in bus stops is a welcome respite.

Cold water dispenser at the bust stop

Reminds me of the pyayu” or water huts from childhood days in Rajasthan. In Summer months, volunteers constructed huts to dispense free cold water to people passing by. You could always spot them by the construction material - straw, and earthen pots strewn outside. The dry heat of the desert makes earthenware efficient evaporative cooler. I miss that earthy” water taste.

Water hut in Rajasthan

Water hut in Rajasthan

India Summer
December 21, 2021

Phnom Penh at night

Late December is a great time to wander in Phnom Penh past midnight. There is a cool breeze from the river. As you move away, you discover secret places.

Phnom Penh at night

Phnom Penh at night

Phnom Penh at night

Phnom Penh at night

Phnom Penh at night

Phnom Penh at night

PhnomPenh Cambodia