Monday, 29 December 2008
Friday, 26 December 2008
Lauren's not the only one who loves mango juice.
There were children shrieking, adults looking scabby, everyone was pigging out on unhealthy food and there were screaming rows between families that finished with one lot running off.
So yeah, not at all like a normal Christmas.
First we take Kathmandu, then the world.
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
As great a time as we'd been having in Nepal, the daily power cuts and cold showers were grinding me down. But what really made me throw my toys out of the cot was the haze that has covered the country since the first day we've been here. I was worried the only sight of the Himalayas we'd get was on the plane in. But yesterday we headed up to Sarangkot, a hill near Pokhara, and the last traces of my grump (much to Lauren's relief) well and truly vanished. Even with the mist the view was fantastic and at dawn, the skies cleared. It was one of the most breathtaking experiences of our lives.
Sunday, 21 December 2008
We then walked through the jungle back to camp. The guide said that we were safe, the person attacked by a rhino 15 days ago didn't die, and he had been mauled by a bear and was fine now. I armed myself with a stick just in case, and felt true fear when the guide pointed out a set of fresh tiger prints in the dirt. Ug.Tane hung around to take this photo of the prints. I on the other hand moved as fast as I could in the opposite direction the prints were facing.
A monkey chillin' in the jungleThe highlight of our time in the park was a trip back through the jungle on elephant back. We were closer to the monkeys and higher than the rhinos, which enabled us to get really close to them. Elephants are cool, although seeing ours bash through the jungle I still wouldn't want to meet one in a dodgy alleyway on a dark night.
Rhinos as seen from elephant back
Friday, 19 December 2008
Two men dressed in the traditional Nepalese garb looking over some sacred cows. I couldn't take the photo any closer, alas, or else they would have charged me. Note to self: get better zoom ...
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Friday, 12 December 2008
1. Hearing the call to prayer while riding camels at the Pyramids, May 2008.
2. Realising in the last 500 metres of my Half Marathon that while I hurt, I had finally done one, October 2008
3. Showing Ngaire around London, 13 July 2008
4. Cycling around the Arran Islands, Ireland, 25 July 2008
5 = Arriving in Luxembourg City, 1 February 2008. I was just really excited to be there as had wanted to go to Luxembourg ever since I was about 12.
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
On Saturday Lauren and I went our separate ways, with she and our friend Stephen off to the Florence Nightengale Museum and I off with English friends Lewis and James to see Britain's greatest obsession - The X Factor!
Kidding. It was actually Britain's second-biggest obsession - football. We went to a Premier League game, Fulham versus Manchester City.
Both are mid-table teams, so they're not quite up there with Chelsea and Liverpool, but the quality of the game (1-1) was WAY higher than the last top-level match I saw - Auckland's rubbish Football Kingz playing in 2000.
That night we had a lovely evening chilling out at Lucy's and Amar's house - and, um, watching The X Factor. True music lovers will be fascinated to know that ethnic minority boy band JLX, much to my surprise, weren't completely crap this week. But if Alexandra doesn't win, there's no justice in this world.
It was chilling of another kind on Sunday, when we visited Regent's Park. It - and the surrounding Georgian villas - are gorgeous, but boy, once the sun started dipping over the buildings (3pm) was it cold.
Still, despite having to walk around wearing almost every piece of clothing we own, it was one of those weekends that recharged our liking for London. Though I must say that a trip to a New Zealand beach sounds pretty good right now!
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
It was remarkable, Tane Stephen and I stood open mouthed as images from home filled the screen. It's not unrelated that Tane and I had a lengthy conversation today about when we want to move home, and that I rang a travel agent to get a rough idea of how much our proposed trip back would cost.
The question is, though, where can technology go from here? Already the disc man I had in 2001 is dated, my first mobile phone a brick and film cameras and VHS machines almost obsolete. Having said that though, in my opinion mobile phone technology seems to have plateaued unless you are a technology nut, and computers are faster but I (and I assume many others) have reached a point when they don't feel the need for an upgrade. I was reading recently about how much the refrigerator and washing machine changed life for women especially in the 1950s, which indicates that our children will probably take for granted the fact that you can carry an entire CD collection, your camera and the Internet in your pocket.
What's next? Will we have flying cars soon? What about hovering skateboards like in Back to the Future? Where can technology go from here? Surely things cannot get much smaller and still be user-friendly. All suggestions welcome, and I'll dredge this entry up in a few years time and we can all have a giggle about it.