Monday, June 30, 2008

I love expat blogs

Reading blogs opens up a whole new world for you. I find it fascinating that thanks to a simple blog, one can read about someone living their life across the world and see what their experiences are. Ever since we moved abroad (again!) I've been quite active on expat boards and am forever searching for expat blogs, so that have people I can relate to. So it was pretty cool to come across, Culture Shock which is a blog that covers exactly that. Written by Kristie, a native of Southern California, the blog covers her move to Norway on getting married and is currently about her not-so-good stay in an Ashram in India. All her travels and experiences certainly make for very lively reading, that I am quite enjoying.

Daily reading material

As a blogger, one automatically gravitates to reading other blogs and over the years I have built up a nice list of bookmarks of sites that I like to visit. I haven't been doing it too much recently, ever since I have been caught up with my Flickr-addiction, but one of the blogs that I used to read regularly and now am looking forward to reading again is Table For Five which is authored Elizabeth. As a mommy blogger, Elizabeth covers a wide range of topics from things to do on the weekend to product reviews and launches, but what I really like is that she always makes it interesting by putting her own personal take on it, which is always interesting.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

a book pic

A few days back I wrote about finishing reading The Family by Kitty Kelley, and so here is the photo of it. I agree that the objects in the photo are totally incongruous in relation to each other, but I didn't set up the shot or arrange it. These were just objects that were lying on the table and when I saw the sunlight coming in so beautifully, I ran to get my camera and take a shot. That's what life is all about right, capturing the moments without too much fuss and without changing things around too much!

my latest read
The photo has been reduced in size to fit on this page, so the lines are not aligned etc. To see the pic in all its glory, click on the photo!

a secure thing

In the past decade or so, the kind of home security systems that have become available have really changed. Not only have them become much more secure, but they have also become so much more simpler for the consumer to understand and use. Earlier, it was quite easy to find a way around the system, since everyone used to use the simplest of passwords and just about anyone could get around them. A system such as ademco however offers a much higher level of security and one can keep track of one's property from another location as well, which is a very useful tool to have. Besides all the basic security elements, it also has several options for elevated security and ease of use. I was quite impressed with all the features when I visited their website.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I could have been here too....

I'm missing out on a major adventure these days! Instead of being here at home I could have been at Club La Costa, Alpine Center near Zell Am See. Wow, now that would be a great summer vacation right? I thought so too, but had to decline to go since I had a lot of work and family stuff going on here at home. Oh well, that is life!

Sometimes I think that since I love to travel so much, all I ought to do is to travel! What a life that would be, right? Till I can do that, all I can do is dream, dream, dream!

Traveling without worry

As an avid traveler, I cannot stress the importance of getting travel insurance before heading out on a trip. Nothing is worse than losing your luggage, getting ill and misplacing your wallet while you're far away from home. I always take out a health insurance policy before leaving for vacations, something that will cover me and any illness at our destination.

The thing about travel insurance is that a lot of people offer them, so it's effectiveness all depends on who you buy it from. A lot of people get a policy from their travel agent simply because it saves them time, but you should actually be buying one directly from the insurer as you will definitely get a better rate and also get better coverage. So, the little effort you make to get travel insurance direct is well worth it.

If you get travel insurance directly from the insurer, you can also select the specific type of insurance that suits you, so if you're traveling a lot each year, you can get a multi trip plan instead of a single trip plan. And if you're into being adventurous, you can take out a backpacker insurance plan which will cover you for all unexpected events and situations. Happy traveling!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Finished reading : The Family by Kitty Kelley

I'm really thrilled with the amount of reading I've been managing to do these past few months. While two books a month is not much at all, it was hard for me manage even that before, so am very happy to keep up my current reading rate. I finished reading Kitty Kelley's The Family yesterday and must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've read one of her earlier biographies on Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and that was got me interested in reading biographies, albeit totally unauthorized ones, which make them so much more interesting instead of being preachy and squeaky clean. The Family, which is about the Bush dynasty is quite compelling and tells a lot of secrets that the family wanted to keep hidden. All in all very interesting reading.

That awful teenagery thing!

Many teenagers will feel that there is no right solution to the problem of acne but in fact there are some very good acne solutions that will take care of the problem once and for all for you. The thing to remember is that teenage acne is triggered off by so many different factors and combinations of factors that sometimes even the best of solutions might not work. It is important to drink lots of water so that all the impurities are flushed from the body, eat a healthy and nutritious diet, be active and most importantly be happy. Acne is caused by hormones and they play havoc if you are miserable, so this is one of the best solutions.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A different one!

I've been posting a lot of pictures here, but they're usually the same ones that I post on Flickr, so this time I decided to post something that I have not uploaded to Flickr. I took this one in April and I liked the mix of colors that I got in the shot. Color and light are the two things that I look for when I take a photograph and I don't like things that look too dreary or sad. I agree, that there is beauty in surprising places like a ditch or a broken pot, but I don't find it too appealing. I do however love rust in photographs, as there is something very earthy about it.

More than just telling the time

I've always been a fan of watches. I don't have a huge collection, but I have to wear a watch at all times. I feel weird if I don't wear a watch, so getting a watch as a present is always a useful and great gift for me. I recently saw some very cool looking Guess watches that would be really fun to wear. Guess is a brand that is straddling both the cool and the luxurious with great ease, since a lot of brands have trouble being both. One of my all time favorite watches is the one that my parents gave me on my eighteenth birthday and I still take it out and wear it every once in a while.

Books read in April and May

I tallied my recent reading and I'm happy to note that I am making good progress on this front. I have always loved to read, but the past few years have seen my reading habit go down by quite a bit, mostly because I am spending a lot of working on the computer and then would rather not concentrate on more reading. But in all that, I forget the wonderful sense of calmness that one gets just from sitting still and reading. We're doing too much of multi-tasking these days that we feel guilty if we do less than 3 things at a time. But with reading, one has to concentrate and that is a wonderful way to forget one's daily work and troubles.

My tally so far:
Fatima's good fortune by J & G Dryansky
Passion India by Javier Moro

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Dark Lady by Charles Higham

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summer traveling

Summer is a wonderful time to travel in Europe. My parents will be traveling to Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Poland in a three week trip that I could have gone on too, but had to refuse since I had some important stuff going on at home. Since they have done a decent amount of traveling in Europe, they are quite well versed in how to find the best places to stay, where all to visit and how to find the best deals. So if you say you are looking for the best Paris hotels, they will know exactly where to go to find them.

They plan to stay for about a week near Salzburg, after which they will travel to several different places and stay two-three days in each location. When they were looking for Salzburg hotels, they found a wide range of options in many of the locations that they were interested in. For Munich hotels, they found a perfect hotel in the Nymphenburg area of town, close to the tram station and in a very elegant location that is full of historical buildings.

Since all bookings have to be done in advance and you only have s few photographs to see of each location, being able to get some reader feedback, see a location map of the area and know what all amenities the hotel has to offer are all important tools in finding the right place. There's nothing worse than reaching your hotel to find that it's not in the right location, and does not stand up to its photo on the Internet. That's why it is so important to do your bookings at a reputable site, one that you can be sure to be straightforward and honest.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


My parent's beloved dog Zorro passed away after battling diabetes, which was only diagnosed four months back. He was only 4 years old and such a wonderful and affectionate dog. We will surly miss him a lot. Here's a photo I took of him in March. He was already ill by this time, had lost weight and was not his usual chirpy self.

zorro looking lovingly...

what is enough memory?

Ever since I started taking photographs and storing them all on my computer, I've been a bit worried about running out of memory space. I decided to check up on if I needed to increase the ram or random access memory on this laptop, and if my external drive would be enough of a backup. Well, it turned out that I was worried for no reason at all, since I have plenty of space still available, even with some of the large format photographs that I have been taking. The good thing is that one can easily upgrade one's memory capacity whenever one needs to, so there is always a solution handy. Just imagine if one could do that in real life too!

more on packing and moving...

As people go, we've moved around the world quite a bit already, and we're nowhere near done as yet. I love to travel and experience living in different places, but this last move did wear me out, if I'm to be absolutely frank. Maybe, it was because we had so much going on at the time, maybe it was because we decided to sell most of our stuff and buy new things once we got here, maybe it was because of my attachment to the things I sold and gave away. All of these and more contributed to making it a very emotional and physically tiring move. I definitely would have been simpler if we had brought our things along, since they would have taken a month or two to arrive and we would have found a place by then with ease. In retrospect, things always look so clear, don't they.

Moving lessons

Moving is not an easy business. For a while, it definitely can be a lot of fun, but it can really wear you out, if you don't have the right sort of help, including having a mover NYC company to help you organize and sort things out. With the way they organize things, it becomes quite simple to handle the rest of the things oneself. In all our moves, we have had help with the packing and moving and that has really been a huge help. In our last move, we decided to sell most of our things and shipped only a small amount of household goods. Looking back, I feel that we should have utilized the packing services and sent it all here instead of selling it. Oh well, one lives and learns, I guess!