Monthly Archives: February 2015

Aside

 Photo Contributions

Thank you dear friends and fellow blog readers for encouraging me to keep writing. But I feel, that a part of me now resides within you as some of you have begun to narrate ‘your’ experiences thorough your comments, emails and personal talk. You’ve begun noticing the layout design of fruit displays, culture of street food or festive market stalls and how weather plays a role in seasonal markets. Oh! it’s amazing how thoughts weave our stories together.

‘ “Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.”
Brian Tracy

So why not a blog post of reader contributions? Here are your photos.

 1. Summer Treat: Mangoes from Pune, India 

Last summer, Arundhati visited her home town, Pune. In India, summer announces the arrival of mangoes. Ratnagiri, coastal Maharashtra, is renowned for its fruit, it is neatly packed into small wooden crates and cardboard boxes and distributed to the nearest big city markets of Mumbai, Pune and Nasik. As Arundhati made her buy, she promptly sent me a box, albeit via email!

Over 100 varieties of mangoes are grown in India, but Alphonso, locally termed Hapoos reigns supreme! Introduced to coastal India by a Portuguese sailor, these highly aromatic and fleshy prized variety of mango brings instant smiles and conversations on the dinner table. Best eaten freshly sliced, mangoes do sneak into desserts like shrikhand,  phirni, ice cream and  milkshakes.

Mangoes sold at a stall in Pune

Mangoes sold at a stall in Pune

2  Traditional Rice Baskets: Bangkok, Thailand

Friends visited the Chatuchak market that was bursting with local and expat crowds. After hearing an endless banter about items: table mats, printed sarongs, Buddha statues, incense sticks, fake jewellery even colourful rubber slippers that could be bought at cheap prices, I sheepishly asked ‘Do you have even ONE photo for my blog?’. Groan……moan…

Finally, ain’t I lucky with this one ?

Rice Baskets, Thailand

Rice Baskets, Thailand.

My friend, Swati, is an artist, never missing an eye for detail. Needless to say wooden statues and Buddha carvings, tucked into a dark shop, with limited ventilation, at a Bangkok market caught her fascination. Inspired to create another painting, Swati ?

Statues on sale

Statues on sale

3. Enjoy Street Food in Shanghai

On a recent visit to Shanghai, hubby went in search of  local food in the street market. He brought home some treats of noodles, flat- bread coated with sesame seeds and rice cakes. More rewarding though were the photos he clicked for me:) Hubby knows my passion, rather addition to blog writing.

3. Horse Milk and Berry fruit: Kazhakstan.

Having relocated to an exotic distant land, Arundhati is now in Atyrau Kazhakstan. She is an ardent follower of my blog, and here is her contribution.

‘Drasvitiyet or Hello’ from Kazhakstan. In summer lots of berry type fruits are available here. Musk melon and water melon grow plenty, near Atyrau city,where I now live. The sandy soil is rich in minerals and good for melons. The place is nearby to Caspian Sea. Once upon a time, it was all sea here. After sub-zero freezing winters, summer temperature goes to high of 40 degrees, berry fruit thrive.’

‘Both Almaty and Atyrau are very beautiful places. Bordered by mountain ranges on one side that are fully snow-covered in winter, the city resembles mini Switzerland! Almaty is the economic center of Kazakhstan and Astana is the capital city. Prior to 1995, the country was part of USSR. 

Milk vendors - Kazhakstan

Milk vendors – Kazhakstan

Horse meat is commonly eaten here and horse milk is popular drink. The two elderly ladies, in the photo, selling horse milk claim to be 90 years old, and healthy ONLY  because of drinking horse milk!’ she muses.

Thank you so much for your little guest post Arundhati!

5. Trader Joe’s supermarket, New York

‘Mummy….here’s food for your blog’ said my younger daughter, as she made her holiday purchases in New York. Comparing them to Coles Supermarket in Sydney, where she often buys her daily groceries, she has become more aware of fresh seasonal fruit on the shelf, layouts of items differ at different supermarkets, space and staff are noticeably different and wide open parking spaces may not be available in big city centres.

Supermarket shelves at Trader Joe's

Supermarket shelves at Trader Joe’s

6. Chinese New Year markets, Singapore 

A dear friend Maithilee and her daughter, religiously went photo-shopping into the streets of Chinatown, Singapore. Camera in hand, and eyes set on souvenirs for ‘Year of the Sheep, 2015’ they came home with plenty. Thank you very much! My heart now yearns to be part of the vibrant market during ‘Gong Xi Fat Choy‘ celebrations!

Popular varieties of flowers and Chinese lanterns at market stall, Chinese New Year, Singapore

Popular varieties of flowers and Chinese lanterns at market stall, Chinese New Year, Singapore

Malls, housing estate street markets in Singapore (and China) suddenly burst alive with traditional Chinese New Year colours of ‘Red and Gold.’ Street markets are densely packed with a variety of decorations, festoons, Chinese paper lanterns, prosperity dolls, fake fire crackers and gift money bags – all related to the New Year customs. Markets are open late into the evenings, and get more crowded. The night before the Chinese New Year, streets are brimming with people who arrive in large numbers to savour local Chinese food and enjoy the bargain sales – everything MUST GO!

Chinese New Year festivities sold in street markets, Singapore

Chinese New Year festivities sold in street markets, Singapore

Carrefour hypermarket dressed up in Chinese New Year festivities

Carrefour hypermarket dressed up in Chinese New Year festivities

The main street of Chinatown area, Singapore is brightly decorated with lights, lanterns and a larger than life statue of ‘God of Prosperity.’ The Chinese society is materialist and has strong business culture, money thus plays an important role.

Some more photo contributions from other friends as they visit the Sim Lim area and Bras Basah street markets during Chinese New Year 2015.

Here’s wishing my Chinese friends and readers ‘Gong Xi Fat Choy’ or Happy New Year 2015.

That’s all for now. Rest your legs after this world tour!

Remember to keep sharing your experiences, writing comments and travelling the world with me.

Till then..

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”

–Theodore Roosevelt.

  

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo Contributions

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Aside

This is my entry for The Daily Post Challenge: Scale. A prompt to share an image that highlights a size relationship — that makes us pause, take a second look to understand the scale of the elements in the photo, was the given challenge.

Living in arid desert conditions makes one appreciate the element of Water. Here is a comparison of scale of two important desert fruits: Watermelon and Date fruit.

An explorer, David Livingstone, once literally found vast expanses of semi desert African land covered wildly with watermelons! With an extremely high content of 92% water (and other nutrients), watermelons sustain and provide us nutrition, for over 6 weeks in hot weather. In scale, they range from a few pounds to ninety pounds!

Let’s compare this to the small scale of Date fruit. Truly, this tiny miracle desert food, ranging from 3 cm – 8 cm in size has provided nutrition, health and life to many a traveller across the sands of times! In the lands of Arabia and neighbouring arid and sandy regions where sand dunes and camels live in harmony, the Date Oasis made for a perfect relaxing spot to the caravan traveller. Find more on Dates: Holy Fruit of Middle East, in my earlier post. Caravans often carried large sacks of Date fruit for nourishment on their long journeys. For more information see Wikipedia.

On a scale of 1-10, which desert fruit do you like ? Why?

 

Scale: Desert Fruits, Big and Small