Monthly Archives: October 2015

Caribbean Cool

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Caribbean Cool

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Its that time of year again kids. This Sunday is daylight savings. Time to lock up the flip-flops, shorts & tank tops and set the clocks back. Or forward? Whatever it is, its going to be dark all day long!!!!!!

What do I do to keep the blues away, you say??? What else!!! Hop on my favorite website ( CheapCaribbean.com ) and dream of the tropics. I usually wait until it’s that point in February to book something, the sun, sand & sea is more appreciative when its arctic in New York, and if you know or don’t know, the past two winters were a cruel reality.

A friend reminded me last weekend that a two years ago around this time we were heading out to Jamaica Jamaica!! I think we just got overly excited and booked it early as opposed to our usual February getaway. Jamaica to many is the definition of Caribbean. The mother island. I love the culture, I LOVE the music, I love the people, and omg the accent 😉 Every other island is kinda a blur and I probably will plan a cruise to island hop them in order to figure them out, but Jamaica is Jamaica – I know what it has to offer and it’s such an amazing place!

One thing I found out about in Jamaica was that in America all the deals and stuff are all about Montego Bay (MoBay) or Ocho Rios. We ended up in MoBay but next time I will know to stay in Negril, where the Seven Mile beach lays!!! The seven mile beach is exactly what one pictures when you think of Jamaica. CLEAR, clean water, white sand beaches, BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!! We also went to Rick’s Café where people cliff dive and we saw the most amazing sunset I have ever seen in my life!!! The sun in general in Jamaica was something else! Even in MoBay. Its amazing!!

Mobay

Mobay

MoBay

MoBay

MoBay

MoBay

What's going on...? - MoBay

What’s going on…? – MoBay

MoBay

MoBay

!!!!! in MoBay

!!!!! in MoBay

crystal clear water on the Seven Mile beach - Negril

crystal clear water on the Seven Mile beach – Negril

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Sting Rays pon di Seven Mile beach

Sting Rays pon di Seven Mile beach

seven mile beach, Negril

seven mile beach, Negril

Cliff divers!

Cliff divers!

Sooo breathtaking!!!

Sooo breathtaking!!!

sunset on the seven mile beach - Negril

sunset on the seven mile beach – Negril

Negril Sunset

Negril Sunset

I would one day love to check out Trinidad as well, because they have such an interesting, fun and amazing culture as well! I think its cool how its got a huge Indian population there. The culture soo original as it mixes Indian culture with Afro/Caribbean. It’s like they’ve got the best of both worlds. In college and a little post graduation I promoted West Indian parties and learned so much about the variety of music from the Caribbean. Aside from reggae, dancehall and soca, there is Indian inspired music called Chutney which is really interesting (and funny lol) It’s like the tune of Bollywood famous songs but they change the lyrics (in English or whatever its called. Trini English) and sometimes they speak Hindi but change the pronunciation. Its fun to listen to! A lot of the songs are just crazyyy. One of my Trini friends introduced me to this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGMpr-quR7Q

This friend also told me about Trini puppets and how that’s a thing. Its popular television according to my Trini friend. The puppet that I believe is the most famous (or maybe the only one lol) is Leroy and Paster Stewart. They are the main characters to Trinidad’s most beloved Muppet/Puppet. These puppets are definitely for mature audience ONLY LOL. BTW if you are from Trinidad and I am giving any misinformation feel free to correct me lol. I am going off word from friends, so I may be misquoting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUb38sxcxPY

Pastor Stewart

I feel like this blog is just getting weird now by the way LOL. I should probably watch those two youtube links more carefully than I am before posting but again, WE ARE A MATURE AUDIENCE!!! 😉 Trust me I won’t go into what I don’t know about Rastafarianism!!!

In conclusion, if you are starting to feel the winter blues, my advice would be to look up youtube videos on the Caribbean, surf the website I linked above (Cheap Caribbean dot com) and throw on some dancehall and you may just ended up bookin a jameeyakan baykeeyashan of your life, ya mon!!!

Educate

Educate

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It’s Halloween in the City!

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It’s Halloween in the City!

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No city does Halloween like New York City! HANDS DOWN! Halloween was invented (yes, invented) FOR the city of New York. And New York was designed for Halloween. New York’s Greenwich Village Halloween Parade is by far the largest city-wide Halloween event in NYC. Nothing you will ever see in your life is crazier!!! (here is the official link https://www.halloween-nyc.com/  ) I mean I guess elsewhere in the country and maybe the world, Halloween is meant for kids. I think its fair to say kids should be banned from Halloween in New York!!! hahahha (That laugh was evil)

It’s also safe to say that I’ve definitely had more fun hanging out on the streets than an actually party/club. The bars/lounges get sooo packed you cant even breathe!! And to spend a ridiculous amount for JUST the entry fee just to get annoyed because its so crowded you cant breathe – no. My first Halloween in the city we went to my friends party at a bar in Union Square (after the parade, of course) and then as we were “heading out” we found a drum circle in the middle of Union Square and started dancing in the street! So much fun!! This is the best holiday ever!! I think at this stage in life, I’m lazy to go all out with the costumes – but some people are soo create and original! As long as I have some ears or a mask of some sort and some glitter I’m good.

If you are planning a trip to New York and are open minded and not scared of witnessing craziness and the oddest of odd, Halloween is the BEST time to be here! Head downtown to the village for probably the craziest of them all! I will warn you though, the parade can get extremely packed. If you are claustrophobic, maybe you should reconsider lol. I’ve been stuck in the crowd many a times. I also remember one year my friends were on the other side of the street and the police wouldn’t let us cross over to meet them, so you have to be prepared for these things. Another year I was caught in a crowd unable to breathe or see any of the parade (btw never once that I have attended the parade was I actually ever able to like..you know..SEE the parade!! Its too crowded you cant get a good view.) and then some idiot decided to start a fight…omg..I still remember how awful that was!!! I think the best thing to do is be CLOSE to the parade but FAR enough that you don’t get killed lol.

Your guide to Halloween in NYC

Another year I worked a party that was hosted by Kim Kardashian.

Kim Kardashian dressed as Poison Ivy at Lavo

Kim Kardashian dressed as Poison Ivy at Lavo

Celeb spottings - Kim Kardashian on Halloween

Celeb spottings – Kim Kardashian on Halloween

My mask that year

My mask that year

Another fun, memorable Halloween was 2008! That was probably the last year I went alllll out with my costume!

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I'm clearly in my zone!Ohhh the good ol' days!

I’m clearly in my zone! Ohhh the good ol’ days!

Here are some more photos from the Halloween parade a few years ago:

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!

My first encounter of my mother’s land

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It only takes all this to go to India!

It only takes all this to go to India!

Well, I’m semi-lying when I call it my mothers land. Mama Bahri was born and raised in Kenya. But she moved back to India in her teen years and we have a lot of relatives from her side in India.

ANYWAYS, India…India, INDIA. Where do I EVENN begin!!!! Arriving in Delhi airport. I had a long night ahead of me. I could only find a flight with an overnight layover in Delhi (I sorta was trying to do the “trip within a trip” thing here too, but not really bc this was all they had and it was overnight so I wasn’t planning on hanging out in the big bad city by myself at night). I initially thought this layover was going to be tedious and annoying because I just wanted to get to Punjab, take a showerrrrr and see what it looks like, see my family members, and see what situation I was going to be staying/sleeping (!!!)

So lets start with the confusion factor which happens (at least to me) every time I step off the plane into a foreign city. I just follow everyone else bc I don’t know where to go. I saw a bunch of ladies wearing those doctor masks on their mouths (I guess to keep germs away) kinda strange…! Then they handed me an Ebola form to fill out…! #gotcha

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After that I roamed around in duty free and a few of the shops. I needed to find a place to sit and chill for a few hours while I figured out how to kill the night in the airport. I found an uncomfortable place to sit with a loud family who were not controlling their screaming kids, so as tired as I was, I got back up. I walked out to a different corner of the airport and ALL THE SUDDEN something fabulous happened…I heard Bollywood music!!! LOL! Those who know me well know Indian music is THE one thing that perks me up no matter what!!! So, I turn and turn until I discovered it was coming from this FUNKYYYYY, cute, cute little airport bar!!! PERFECTTTT!! I was so excited I had to break out my phone and take a video LOL (which, of course, didn’t give the whole situation justice. BOO!) so I go over and sit. Here begins the beginning of my fabulous evening and fabulous new friends!!!

First thing is first, I noticed (as always in any airport) the prices for a glass of wine were really pricy. I really wouldn’t have cared if they had a bigger list of wines but they barely had anything. The lack of beverage choices was soon made up for from the outstanding company I had that evening! The bartender and the manager were SOOO cool & we clicked instantaneously!!! Honestly, I just figured I would sit at the bar on my phone and people watch for a few hours, but I ended up having the best time hanging out with some cool Delhiites who were sooo lovely, extremely hospitable and fun conversation!! Very helpful too.

I’m very curious about people (especially Indian people) from other parts of the world (especially India) and how they are similar/different from Indians I am used to growing up in the United States. I wont get into what I thought the youngster of India would be like, but I’ll just say these guys were sooo nice, hospitabe, Indianized, hilarious and very kind! I was very happy to have made amazing friends who I am still in touch with now (and who are reading this blog I hope lol) within the first hour of my arrival. After about 5 hours I thought I better stop bothering these guys and let them finish their work LOL. So I went to the overnight lounge area to get a little shut eye before my morning flight to Chandigarh.

The lounge was pretty nice but I basically slept on an oversized chair, which was not AS uncomfortable as it looked. I was so tired though it was fine for a few hours. I must note that I wished the reception here was as amazing as my bar boys…..!

Relaxing in the sleeping lounge on my

Relaxing in the sleeping lounge on my “bed” for the night.

Morning came and I was really annoyed when I checked out from the overnight lounge (or whatever it’s called..I know I keep calling it that, it could be called something completely different!) I was heading out to find my flight and the guy told me I have plenty of time and I should wait. I was very impatient and told him I can wait at the gate. He insisted I wait there.

I finally saw a huge line at the elevator so I was like sorry homie, I’m out and I left. I ended up being LATE and had to RUN because they were CALLING MY NAME because the flight was about to TAKE OFF WITHOUT ME!!! GOD I WAS SO ANNOYED!! What happened next was interesting – all that running and the flight sat there for an hour and a half. Technical problems or whatever. UGH.

Finally plane took off and 45 minutes later I’m in “The City Beautiful” – Chandigarh!!!!! 🙂

GET ME OFF THIS PLANNEEE I WANNA SEE PUNJAB!!!

GET ME OFF THIS PLANNEEE I WANNA SEE PUNJAB!!!

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Unfortunately my luggage didn’t make it and we spent the next 3 hours in the airport as my uncle, who is a lawyer at the high court (whatever that means)threatened …*cough* reasoned/worked with Jet airways to bring my luggage, which they left in Dilli (you have to collect your luggage from the Port of Entry – the dumb kid in JFK told me my bags would go straight to Chandigarh so that wasn’t my fault!! I’m not getting into this story omggg ughhhh).

So yes, I was without my luggage for 3 days. It was lovely going underwear shopping with my whole entire family….!

Oh, one last thing. I spoke about this so I might as well mention, after we FINALLY got outside the Chandigarh airport – I walked out and the first thing I heard was Bhangra!! GOOD BHANGRA MUSIC!! I wanted to start dancing but it was hard as my family was shielding me like crazy! LOL

Delhi Airport has the coolest bathroom stalls I have ever seen in my life!

Delhi Airport has the coolest bathrooms I have ever seen in my life!

I started at this for the hour and half my plane was sitting still in Delhi waiting to take off

I stared at this for the hour and half my plane was sitting still in Delhi waiting to take off

Trips within Trips!

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So in my last blog entry, I mentioned my secret (well, not so much anymore!) idea of scoring a mini trip (otherwise known as extra long layover) on your way to your destination. I’ve done this twice now and I love it! It’s challenging in a fun way and I seemto spend a lot more time trying to plan out the 6ish or whatever hours I have on the layover trip than the actual trip!

Sometimes this idea doesn’t turn out as well as planned, other times it’s fabulous! I’ve dealt with both lol. On the two times I’ve done this!! So the first time, I was taking a weird flight to the UK and it stopped in Istanbul for I think 7-8 hours or something. I know, stop making that face! It was a cheap flight and I didn’t mind bc I’ve always wanted to go to Turkey!!! Now this layover was sooooo difficult to plan because there are SOOO many amazing places to see in Istanbul that when you are short on time and have to pick ONE bloody spot…ughhhhhhh!!!! I can’t!!!! And I’m seriously the most indecisive human being on this planet!!!!! I had a coworker who was Turkish so I asked her if there was maybe like a “suburb” that was close to the airport so I wouldn’t get stuck in traffic as everyone kept warning me about. She suggested her old neighborhood called ” Yesilkoy”. So I figured why not! It’s a local area & it would be cool to go to a complete local spot and get a feel for “real” Turkish life.

I did hardcore research on this place and found a coffee shop that looked nice that I figured if anything, I could sit there and people watch if I felt I would get lost walking around.

So now let’s fast forward to d-day! When I arrived in Turkey it was veryyy early a.m. I think like 5 am. The Istanbul airport is huge and extremely confusing!!! On top of that NOBODY SPEAKS ENGLISH!!! I also remember waiting a rediculous and unnecessary amount of time to exchange currency at the desk – which was painful because the rude lady didn’t speak English either.

Anyways, I got in a cab and I remember how beautiful Turkey looked from that cab ride! The ride was short and he dropped me off on some crooked road with not much around. To make a long story short, this Yesilkoy place was TINY. I took a little walk around. I guess it rained overnight because everything was damp. It was so early all the shops were closed too. I found a pier/harbor type area on the back end and walked around. I was soo done after about 20 minutes!!! I waited a bit though as I noticed shops were opening. The shops were cute. Streets were small and narrow and so were all the shops lol. There was a market/ grocery store that had opened, so I thought I would check it out as it’s usually fun going inside foreign grocery stores and seeing Mexican Cheerioes. All I remember is it was superrrr awkward!! They were still doing their morning set up and I was in the way…like everywhere I moved in that store!!! I was still in the way!!!! UURGHH! So I got back into a cab disappointed and just went back to the airport.

I’ll tell ya one thing though, I’m glad I did because as I mentioned earlier, that airport is super confusing, it took me 45 mins to figure out how to get past security!! Nobody could help me. Not a bloke spoke English and I couldn’t find an information desk!!! I have never cursed so much while traveling!! Omg!! I finally got on the other side and stayed put lol. I def want to go back and visit Turkey properly, and I willl! My experience sucked but it still was nice and I’m sure next time when I go I will have a better time! This was actually the first time traveling to a foreign country all alone and I am proud of myself for that! I did manage to grab some photos though. I can’t seem to find these funny pics of all the dogs sleeping on the street! Aahhh well! Take a look:

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So my other “trip within a trip” was discussed in my previous blog. Abu Dhabi!! That was success. Abu Dhabi was soo clean, so gorgeous, didn’t feel as foreign as Istanbul did, as weird as that sounds! Here are a few pics from that trip within a trip. YES there are way too many pics. NO, I can’t help myself 🙂 you will soon discover I am a picoholic 🙂 in fact, message me directly if you would like to see more photos. I took tons from the Grand Mosque. It’s just tedious to upload on here!

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Kind Strangers in Abu Dhabi

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I had a 6 hour layover in AD on my way to India last year. I planned this on purpose. Actually, I was trying to find an 11 hour layover in Dubai but that didn’t happen! I love long layovers (most of the time) because they are like a mini trip within a trip!

My plan was to see the Grand Mosque and then go to a mall, not to shop, but to people watch. They seem to be  big on “mall culture” there.

After an extremely long flight, the first thing I had to do as soon as I got to the airport (the American in me) of course, was to switch on the wifi and check my phone like crazy as I was going through security!! Nowwww, don’t roll your eyes!! The only reason was that I wanted to message my family in India and tell them I arrived at my layover okay!! 😛

Next, I went to exchange currency. I was a little confused because what they told me didn’t really match the research I did. At any rate, I wasn’t exchanging much so I didn’t argue over it.

I got outside and it was GORGEOUS….and very hot!! LOL! I ran into a bit more confusion with dealing with the cab driver and the cost to go to the Grand Mosque. I remember being really tired too so nothing was really comprehending! Luckily there was a nice person overhearing what was going on and offered to allow me to join him in a cab and drop me off on the road not too far from where the Mosque was. I was a bit hesitant since this was a foreign land and you never know how people can be, but I agreed. if he was going to kill me, at least the cab driver would be a witness!

This person (whose name I don’t even remember) basically moved to AD from London and seems to be living THE life! Works from home, travels to London for work here and there. Works 4 days a week, vacations a lot, lives in an amazing home. He was returning from a business trip in London and was planning on golfing that afternoon after a nap. He said he would never move back to London and life is amazing in Abu Dhabi! We had an interesting conversation and he was kind enough to tell the driver to drop me all the way off to the mosque. He also told me all about the Mosque and its history ect which was good to know! I’m the type, where whenever I make friends or meet people, its instinct to try to keep in touch, but in this situation there was no need and probably awkward and unnecessary. So when we got to the mosque I thanked him, offered him money which he refused and said goodbye and that was it. It’s amazing how God brings people in your life to help you out and then you never see or hear from them, but they are people who do kind things for you who you will never forget.

Here is a photo of my first glance at the Grand Mosque!
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Grand Mosque Selfie because you have to! 🙂
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One year later…

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Hello world!!

My apologies!! I have been missing in action. Why? No reason. But I am back!

I look forward to continuing my blog with no breaks in between. I’ve had an interesting year with a couple travels including my trip to India which I have thousands of stories and photos to share! I would say that was the most amazing trip of my life so far and I look forward to sharing the details with you!

I also made a domestic trip to Miami and I have a couple trips planned before the new year as well which I look forward to blogging about! So stay tuned fellow travelers!

I will leave this “Hey I’m back” post now with a quote I recently stumbled upon (at the nail salon – haha!)

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