Posted in True Story, Inspirational

The Ganesan’s in the Orient 4

emm-n-con-u

Still in Shanghai

We stayed 3 nights in Shanghai.  We walked through many streets, drove a fair distance, rode the fastest train, a mini cruise all crammed in those 3 days.  China is a big country with a very old history and culture.  So 3 days in Shanghai was nowhere near enough.

It has been many moons and drinks since this trip, again life’s road blocks keeps popping up.  I am trying to think of them as speed bumps and not road blocks.  So, I am back again in my writing nook, looking for a distraction.

Back to what the sentence where I started “It has been many moons and drinks…” (before I veered off), so the order of the visits and some details may be distorted.

We were in awe with their level of engineering, architecture and the artifacts.  Most of these were 2000-3000 years old.  BC.  Before Christ and well Before Computers. However, it was to be expected on a trip to China.  They were renowned for this rich history and culture.  However the extent of it was mind blowing.

But what one didn’t expect was clean streets.  There was someone sweeping and picking up rubbish all the time.  The streets were really CLEAN.  For a county with such a large population I expected it to be dirty.  But I was wrong.

I believe our first visit was to the Yu Garden.  As per history, this garden was a gift from a son to his father.  That was one expensive fathers day gift.  It was really stunning.  Although not so peaceful as it was intended to be, as the place was rather crowded.  From sleepy Adelaide to this population explosion was something new to get used to.  Little did I know this wasn’t bad as what was in store for us later in the tour.

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Every tile, every corner of the roof was filled with  detail.

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We were given some free time to wonder around the little market we had just walked through.  However, it was too hot for my liking. The night before I had asked Sophie our tour guide if it was possible to see a tea ceremony and she gave us the option of doing the tea ceremony or the shopping.

So, I opted for a tea ceremony rather than shopping in the heat.  Some others joined me.

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Some of the characters from our tour group

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yes they had lots of tea pots

Tea ceremony was free however we all left with a small purchase for a small fortune. The power of holiday purchase.  I did enjoy the teas however, not sure if I needed to pay so much.

The following photos are from the old town, near Yu garden

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Next stop was the Shanghai Tower.  The tower gives you the  opportunity to see the extent of the concrete structures, sea of apartments and just the explosion of development.  It also gives you a clear view of the pollution they face.  The day was not overcast.  This was apparently a good day.

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The building known as the Bear Bottle.

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of course next to the bear bottle stands the bottle opener

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Then it was time for a ride on the Maglev Train.  A magnetic levitation Train Line.

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The day was coming to a close and the final agenda was a trip to The Bund and then a night cruise from the Bund.

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We were given some free time to wonder around by ourselves.  Our initial search was for a place to get a nice cool drink.  But accidentally stumbled on to this amazing building.  It is in fact a bank.  The Old HSBC Bank.  But it felt like I had entered the Sistine Chapel.  It is still an operating bank.  So we casually went in and exchanged some currencies as well.

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As night fell we boarded the cruise.

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Shanghai looks pretty darn nice at night too.

Good night all.

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Posted in travel, True Story, Inspirational

The Ganesan’s in the Orient – 2

Cont from The Ganesan’s in the Orient – 1 …. https://uma197.wordpress.com/2019/08/31/the-ganesans-in-the-orient-1/

Adelaide airport was calm and no sign of cancelled flights, Cathy Pacific staff looked unmoved and it didn’t seem like the world was going to end any time soon, so we decided to board the plane and go to China.

After 9 long hours of discomfort and boredom we arrived in Hong Kong. The airport looked deserted. All shops and service counters were closed. And definitely no sign of protesters. Phew!!. We still spent a few more hours of apprehension as there was still no sign of gate allocation for our next flight. About 40 minutes to spare we finally get the gate allocation and we board the flight to Shanghai.

Ni Hao Shanghai

The Ganesan’s touch down.

The earth roared and the sun emerged. A red carpet adorned the air bridge.

China was waiting for us. It could’ve been just turbulence and sun may have just risen as it was the morning, but we will never know if the show was for the benefit for the Ganesan’s. It was disappointing that Xi Jinping did not come to greet us, but we are not one to hold grudges, with everything that was on his plate we could certainly understand. Also we wanted to blend in, not bring attention to ourselves. Please, enough with the paparazzi.

But there was no chance of blending in, every turn there were big signs that blared out “FOREIGNER” and we were continually directed to those lines and queues. We see two tunnels – “To Declare” and the other “Nothing Declare”.  Just when we were going to head towards the “Nothing to Declare”, we were shooed off to “Declare”.  There was no time or opportunity to explain, we in fact had nothing to declare.  The guy (the officer) could see and comprehend what we were trying to say but he sternly pointed towards “Declare”.  Such a contrast to the Australian airports.  Over here in Aus you get the feeling they just want you to sod off, unless you are bringing in food, especially bananas or a dog, they just want you to get on with it.  The other difference is that, other than in Australia all other airport officials have a thing about smiling.  It is almost like if they smile or make eye contact somehow they might jeopardize the security system.  But honestly I feel more safe in our airports than anywhere else.  Pretty sure they catch all the real criminals, however they don’t feel the need to put the fear of god in every passenger for no reason. Every time I see that stern face I get the urge to tell “Just chill mate, just breath in and breath out”. 

I had gone off the tangent once again.  We slowly got through each section. I was alarmed when I realised that I was going to be finger printed. I had a choice, to argue that it was a violation of my privacy or just get on with it and enter China. Obviously I chose the latter. Losing all the money I had spent to come to China vs holding on to my rights, I realised holding on to one’s rights was so overrated. But on my return I heard from my son that he was finger printed in LA and Canada. I think it’s an argument/topic for another day.

Finally coming out to a sea of people at the arrival gate was such a relief. I skim through all the signs and posters from those who had come to pick up passengers and finally see the sign, “Wendy Wu Tours”.

WE ARE HERE, OUR HOLIDAY BEGINS.

 

 

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Three years of blogging

A message pops up to say that it has been 3 years since I started to blog on wordpress. I haven’t written/blogged much in the recent times. I have missed writing so much. I have wanted to, but been afraid what might pour out.

I reflect, my website hasn’t changed much in the last 3 yrs. I should update my “about” page, I should work my menu tab. My website is almost a reflection of the house renovations that needs a revisit. Just like my house renovations, the website might have to wait too.

Looking back at the last 3 yrs of blogging/writing, I would like to think that I have grown as a writer, as an individual learning about the world and it’s citizens. Some quirky characters have followed my blog, and in the same way I found myself drawn to some blogs that were very out there by individuals I would have not come in contact normally.

I had a blogger who writes about Dante, who became a follower who commented on my measly writing/blog. He still time to time, pops up with a comment or two. I did ask him what he was doing in my nook and he responded that there are many Dante’s amongst us but not everyone gets the notoriety. Ooo… I felt six feet tall that day.

I found myself following an 19 year old Prisoner from somewhere in the USA. I don’t know what he is in for, but he should switch his weapon to a pen, it’s a pretty mighty one.

My favourite go-to blog has to be Rabbit Patch Diary. Written by a dear old soul. It’s a place I go to when I am troubled, a place where I go to when I need to just relax, it is definitely my little escape. https://rabbitpatchdiary.com/

In the last 3 yrs of blogging, I have poured my heart out and I have opened up some old wounds, I have been vocal about politics and politicians, I have been whimsical, I have been dark and I have taken you on my travels. It really has been a great nook for me explore, express and just chill.

Today I would like to leave you’ll with this song lyric by Bob Marley,

Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing is going to be alright”

This song, these lyrics are speaking volumes to me today. We have to believe that life may have it’s twists and turns, but it will work out at the end. We need the sun and the rain. Usually one follows the other. The reality is, there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Life’s cycle just keeps turning. Like night and day one follows the other. Even when we don’t want one or the other, it still keeps following one another. Even if the night was filled with nightmares, it will soon be morning.

So, “Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing is going to be alright”

Thank you to all those who read my blog and commented and encouraged. Thank you for all the support.

Just remember “its going to be alright” I shall remember that too.

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Everyday is a blessing

After my last rant on my last blog, I have been reluctant to write. Afraid what might pour out. To a certain extent ashamed of my outburst. I have had my fair share of hurdles in the past to overcome and I am usually calm and collected and take it on my stride. I am usually someone who listens to logic. This time my behavior surprised me, almost scared me. It really troubled me not to be in control.

Every word, any word uttered by my husband annoyed me. He was giving me logical solutions. He couldn’t understand, that I was well aware of the logic, I was well aware of all the data, the probabilities, but I just couldn’t control my emotions. My brain kept going into a very negative nook.

My eldest living in another state and at that time my youngest in the UK didn’t help the situation. I didn’t want to discuss this with the youngest until he got back home. Which made my skype calls very strained. Each time he asked me the most common greeting/question “How are you? how are things?” I found it difficult to answer and I feared that he may sense the discomfort.

Hubby gradually understood that I didn’t need solutions and reminder of logic, I just needed a one way sounding board. The boys took the news much better than I expected. Even though I still feel guilty that I carry this mutated gene that I may have passed it on to them, they don’t feel that way. But I have accepted the fact the first step is for the boys to be tested – tested to see if they carry the gene. There is no point in worrying about the next stage until that. Next thing I have to vehemently tell myself is, the boys need me, I cannot drop the ball now.

My workaholic hubby made a booking for a weekend getaway to Cape Jervis and that really did help and hurry along the calming process. In my next blog I will talk about Cape Jervis and surrounds, it is indeed a magical part of South Australia.

My eldest is back from Sydney and today is the D-Day for the test. We took the boys to Willunga Hill yesterday to have lunch at ‘Our Place’
http://www.willungahill.com/

Beautiful drive, spectacular scenery, Food – simply divine, Andy – the chef and host – such a character. To be there as a family and enjoy all this was blissful. Even then at the back on my mind, I was worrying about the boys. The two get along so well, they are both just gorgeous boys, there was so much laughter and banter. I was forcing myself to have a good time too. I kept reminding myself that everyday is a blessing.

I guess it is normal for me to be jittery today. But I am not going to let my emotions get the better of me.

I am going to listen to hubby (for a change). Yes, he is right, we’ve never had it easy, but we have always submerged, maybe gasping for breath but always submerged and we have come out it. I may have to paddle a bit harder for this times rapid current. But I will keep paddling. It is all going to be alright at the end.

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

When memories fail us…

dont forget

It has been a few months since my aunty’s 90th.  A subject that keeps popping up lately but talking to a friend of mine today, who’s mum has now been diagnosed with Dementia the hardships she going through emotionally and physically made me ponder about this subject again.  Years ago my son was involved in a play called the “Also a Mirror” by Sean Riley was based on residents from a Nursing Home primarily suffering from Dementia.  When you come to know these residents, the recipients of this debilitating decease, you understand that each one of them have their own story. Each one of them a special character.  Time to time that individual spunk pops out, refusing to give into the haze of confusion.  But for the family and loved ones who have seen them as larger than life and now to see them belittled by such a blow is a hard pill to swallow.

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My aunt had seven kids and she managed the whole show.  My uncle was mostly at sea, he was in the merchant marine, a Chief Engineer.  While he was away, she single handedly managed the house, the kids and the  million guests who arrived daily from all parts of the country for short stays.  She was a tough woman with a soft heart.  Thanks to the power of nagging and care all her seven kids are now successful individuals.  Who have now followed in the footsteps of my Grand Father and have gone forth and multiplied.  I maybe corrected with my numbers, but I believe my aunt now has Twenty something Great Grand kids and counting.

My dad was the youngest of eight kids and the first to depart.  My aunt loved him very much and missed him very much.  This grand woman turned 90 in December and my cousin and his wife held a big party.  Almost the entire clan was here from all nooks of the world.

I was out of ideas for a gift for a woman who had everything and didn’t need anything.  Finally, I decided to write something for her.  Sharing it today for my friend and anyone else who have to go through this with one of their favourites.

 

Memories

Mami – Baby Mami (mami is aunty) – that’s what I have always called you.  I am your brother Rasam’s daughter Uma.

 

You look into my eyes and wonder who I am. It pains you not to remember.

 

You want to remember me but memories fail you. Don’t feel bad mami.  You have lived a life – a whole life – filled with many faces and many hearts.  So, it’s not easy to remember them all.

 

Memories have a habit of giving up on us time to time.  When I was fifteen, I didn’t remember what I did when I was two.  But you reminded me that my dad called me “Nari and nangal” (made pet names by my dad), you reminded me the drama he caused trying to name me. You reminded me that he loved me very much.  And, you reminded me that you loved your brother and missed your brother just the way I did.

 

Even though you have retold the stories of my two year old days many a times, it is still buried memories for me.  But I loved hearing those stories and for that I thank you.

 

Now that you are ninety, it’s my turn to jog your memories. I understand those memories aren’t going to rush back.  It’s okay, for each of us, it is a tale that we enjoyed telling the other.  We just needed each other to share and reminisce, that story. It’s not important that the other remembers that story or not.

 

So let me introduce myself –

I am your youngest brother – one of the twins – Rasam’s daughter – only daughter.  My mum is Pathini.  My dad passed away at the age of 53.  He left a massive hole in all our hearts.  You loved him very much and missed him very much.  The only thing you could do was to love me and that you did.  You did the same for my mum too.  Thank you mami, for being there for us at our time of need.

 

You gave birth to seven beautiful children, and they loved us and supported us too.  You brought them up well mami.  You can be, one proud mother.

 

Now, I am married and have two boys.  I married Customs Nada’s son Ganesh.  He too has many memories of you and your family.  Once again it’s another face that you may not remember but nonetheless another heart that you have touched.

 

So mami it’s not necessary for you to remember us all.

Just remember that you have loved many.

 

And you are loved by all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Thirty Two Years of Bliss or BS?

onion saree

Thirty two years ago I put my neck out for the Thali(Traditional Necklace given by the Bridgroom similar meaning as wedding ring)  and extended my hand,  for a ring and I guess that was taken as agreeing with the consensus that we get married.

So we got married thirty two years ago today.  We were two giddy youngsters who didn’t really know what we were getting into.

It’s been a heck of ride alright.  Regrets? yes plenty.  I regret that I didn’t start my taming sooner.  I am finding that it is indeed, hard to train old dogs.

Bliss or BS?  Well, I would be lying if I said it was all a bliss.  But, what would a mother of a two year child say, a two year old with massive tantrums, he is adorable but the tantrums?!!, mm yes her life is not a bliss but she does love her child and her life.  Yes, I do feel like that mother at times.

Some times I wonder if I have rocks in my head.  But then again I realise that sometimes those rocks appear to be diamonds.  But there are those times when they are just the one’s you buy from Bunnings (hardware store) in bulk for your garden.

I don’t think life is never a complete bliss nor a complete disaster.  It is what we make of it.  In my opinion life is always a working progress.  We have our set backs.  But then again those set backs teach us what to avoid the next time and how to progress.

This man next to me has let me learn and experience these things, been supportive of what ever I wanted to do or not do.  When I want to take up work or studies he has been there with the flag and when I want to quit,  again he has been there for that too.   Always stood by me in what ever decision I took.

If this man could support me with life changing decisions, I wonder why he can’t be supportive if I want to change the curtains or the paint the wall?  Why won’t he then take down the Christmas lights when I ask him to? Ok those are big ticket items I agree, how about just take those darn tissues to the bin.  I don’t think those used tissues got wings nor does the breadcrumbs and I am not planning on recycling either of them.  Use the dishwasher, don’t eat salami if you are planning on losing weight – wait, it’s me planning on him losing weight, not him, I get it now @@###.  Just listening would be a start, big old ears, just for decoration. @@## It’s no bliss listening to his BS day after day.

But…

In the scheme of things I come to realise that these are merely misdemeanors that could be easily pardoned with warnings and sometimes threats.  Ahhh!! that’s how he gets away with it every time.

Anyhow, I have come to realise after all this time, that I am a gluten for punishment.  So I think I might be hanging around with this man for the rest of my lifetime.

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Sun Hiding behind the clouds – Henley Beach South Australia

There has been many sunsets and sunrises in the last thirty two years.  It has been a wild ride Mr Ganesan.  Just like I did thirty two years ago, I am hanging on to my dear life on that pillion seat and never letting it go.