Monday, June 27, 2011

How to lose 2 kg in 2 weeks without even trying

Step 1: Board evening flight to Chengdu, China; eat in-flight meal; steal airsickness bag in an extraordinary display of prescience.
Land in Chengdu 5 hours later, feel spirits sink at sight of the omnipresent smog, visible even at night.
Endure hair-raising van ride through said city; driver reassures you and other passengers with, “Don’t worry about the other cars; there’s no racing tonight!”

Step 2: Turn up nose at extremely alien hotel breakfast – cold spicy noodle with assorted pickled veg, or what appear to be veg, watery, bland congee, and watery bland soybean milk.
Spend the afternoon tramping around hateful smoggy city because hotel stipulates 12:00 checkout and your train only leaves at 20:59.
Arrive back at hotel, which is where van driver in Step 1 will pick you up and send you to the train station. Realise you’ve left something extremely important in the restroom of a cafĂ© in a mall on the other side of town.
Cue Amazing Race sprinting-with-backpack-to-catch-the-right-bus sequence to and from destination, and within stipulated time limit (30 minutes). Keep winning.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Just a little bit

Although religiosity and I are complete strangers, the sound of a Muslim funeral prayer* echoing through the neighbourhood over the still air on a warm, humid day granted me a glimpse in to a world that is not mine.

* At least, I assume that's what it was; I don't know the words. I mean, 3 p.m. is kind of in-between prayer times, isn't it?