An Expat In Mumbai-Anniversary II

It is going to end up two years of my settlement in Mumbai. Recently I have been asking a question to myself: Onward, what are you going to do and looking for?

Recalled the memory of two years back, the moment when I decided to shift to Mumbai, left my families, my sons, my everything…I was happy and sad, full with hope and worry. Remembered my tears in Bangkok airport, heart was torn because of a mother’s love to her sons.

I am truly grateful for my sons’ understanding and support, their independence makes me feel released from my concern and be little comfortable through knowing they are doing well. And there is no less gratitude to my families for their endless love. Because of the truly blessed love I am here following the voice of my heart, pursuing the one, the dream, the peace, the destination.

Look back the past year in India, definitely the friendship has been fundamentally supporting me with both life and work. I got respond at any single moment whenever I need consultation or clarification. More than that it gave me the warmth at the moment when I felt down.

Secondly, traveling is always in the prior priority of my mind. It has been fulfilling my life with so much stunning beauty, so much rich outcome which was from the mistakes.

And of course the LOVE, yes it is the thing which can either break me or build me, which I have been practicing to do in a way most of people didn’t understand.

In the past year, a heart broken separation with V who made me happy whenever I saw him or heard from him. Once I loved and it seemed there would be no regret and end.

And here is T, the one who is now like a sky full of stars I am gazing at with whole of my heart. The one I feel like I have been knowing him for long. For now, we never know where the destination will be, but we know and promise ourselves that we are always capable and willing to make it.

Here is a lyric of a song:

Everything that kills me makes me feel alive.

It is exactly reflecting my life and my desire.

With my gratefulness to every good and bad, I have an answer in my mind for what am I going to do and looking for.

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An expat in Mumbai_Anniversary I

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International Jazz Day in Mumbai

Every year on end of April it is the international jazz day. Frankly to say I love jazz but I don’t know the festival until this year after I noticed an advertisement on facebook.

FLEA Bazar Cafe located in lower parel of Mumbai, one of the places hosted the jazz music concerts in this day. It was quite late when the concert started at 9:30 pm. Very crowd, vivid automophere: alcohol, food, smoke…., live bands played different style of jazz music, people were dancing, shouting for talking…. Since the second day is the holiday and dry day as well (government doesn’t allow alcohol in some specific days such like labor’s day.), it looked like people wanted to catch the happiness, craziness wildly at such pretty night before the dry day, and even I almost forgot it was only Monday.

Mumbai is one of the most modern cities in India. The indoor such like bars, theaters, shopping malls, restaurants, museums; outdoor such like sports club, live bands, adventure activities, traveling …all of them are reminding us the change of India and also uncovering the normal life of middle class Indian to us.

At the jazz night there are many musicians gathered in the cafe, they were not the roles of jazz show but went to meet old friends over there. Apart from those talent and experienced musicians, also few different style people such like transgenders, gays, moguls….all equally stood listening to the music, intoxicated.

My friend T, as a decades of experience in sound engineering, he is so proud of those talent musicians because the quality of performance is so good. And I am very relaxed, happy, satisfied with the beautiful night with T.

I love Mumbai.

Bands played the Jazz music:

The Many Roots Ensemble

Hipnotribe

Adil Manuel Collective

 

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Forever Thirty-Five

Today, there is one more age counted on my life.

After today, I will be at forever 35, I think it is the most beautiful age of a woman. Also I promised to myself that no matter how many years will be added up to my life, maybe 75, 85 or 95…, spiritually I am 35.

Maybe it will be wonderred why I don’t want to stay at 25? (Yes, it is a younger and attractive age since it looks so fresh.). But after I had gone through 10 years from 25 to 35, I am very confident and happy to remain on the more mature and wise stage.

Recently I have been recalling the memory between last B-day till today, the most beautiful and bitter one happened on the same thing. Plus I also had understood something from it. That is the EGO.

It will be a life long practice that don’t be stuck by the EGO but stand out from it, free the SOUL.

All the BEST.

Birthday selfies since 2012

 

An expat in Mumbai_Anniversary

I was reminded this morning in the bed by an email from company that it is my anniversary day of working in Mumbai.

There is nothing special except that email today. But actually there has been something in my mind and I am writing it down as a special note for my anniversary.

I started my journey in India since 15 years back. The first Indian person I met is the most special one in my life during the past 15 years: loved, fighted, separated, struggled, ….., so much had happened in our lives. Now we are in different cities, living our own life.

I fell in love with India at the first time I visited India. The color, the smell, the people, the food, the dirt, the easiness, the noise……it is an extremely mixed country. This huge land contains so various cultures, languages, religions, arts, sceneries.

After the last long travel in southern India in 2016, I got a job in Mumbai where is the first city I landed in 2002. Living and working in India is just like a dream turning to be true. Without surprise traveling and working are different, traveling is so romantic while working is the the reality, a real life. It has become a very normal life which is like a resident, 5 working day and 2 holidays weekly.

I didn’t find difficulty with living in India, on the contrary, I feel quite easy in many aspects such like environment, people, inconvenience, inefficiency, pollution, noise, crazy traffic….I had a conversation with Korean colleagues regarding my anniversary. We questioned with each other that “How do we survive in India for one year?”, here is an answer we all agree with:

“Forget every bad thing happened on you, let it go. Live hard, work hard, for now and here”.

 

 

An expat in Mumbai Memo 2

In Mumbai, the most popular transportation is the train. Of course there are some other choices like: Uber, Ola, private cars, rickshaws….., however if we don’t want to stuck in the traffic train is always the first choice.

It is just like the lifeline of Mumbai residents. From my location, I usually take Western Line which is one of four lines of Mumbai Suburban Railway.

The Western Line is about 100 kilometers and supports with 35 stops, from northern to southern.

Recently I found something interesting with the Western Line, the reason is just like pushing someone out of the comfort-room and go toward the living in Mumbai. That person is myself only, since I decided not to stay in the room or just be active around my apartment on every weekend, instead I want to hug this wild place, join the crowd, sweating, smelling….

I recorded every stops of Western Line. Every weekend I select one stop randomly, put it on google map, see what’s new or fun around this station. Walk to the train station, get into the train, drop at that station, open facebook check in function….then find the most popularly check in place and…. go.

I found lot of fun through it. And every place is new for me. Usually there is a market close to station, many stuff I can find and of course including side road food stalls which I can find cheap but yammy Indian daily food.

There is a station Lower Parel, 21 kilometers away from my place. In one side there are traditional market, food stalls, poor people lives on the roadside of flyover; on the other side there are luxury malls, hotel, bars, restaurants, movie theater.

It was very nice to spend Saturday night time among those places. See what I had found this weekend:

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The sweet shop, on the sideroad near Lower Parel station. Sweet exists in the soul of Indian.
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I took this picture on the flyover, after I passed the slum area. It looks so old.
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@Blindspot, the rock band.
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The traditional market. I always love those stalls and people.
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The live show. Very impressive.
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The mall, it is much smaller than Palladium mall.
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Way to Palladium mall. The luxury hotel St. Regis is just next to the mall.
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Walk down from the flyover there are modern buildings. The slum area is just behind of me.
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It is late at around 23:00 in the night, in the first class cabinet for ladies, thus it is quite empty. But I don’t understand why this lady is sitting rather on the ground than on the seat.
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The babar shop. Such kind of shop is very popular in India. Simple.

An expat in Mumbai Memo 1

There must be some reason behind that we left our place and be the resident in an unfamiliar city. For me it is kind of romantic adventure, to live in a city which is extremely on the opposite of my homeland. Yes, it is my reason and sounds bit crazy. More than that,  I work for a company which 90% of staffs are Indian….I tell you, it is really crazy.

Here crazy is not a bad word, on the contrary, I defined it as a mood of challenge, positive and alteration. With the mood I started my crazy life in Mumbai from 11th of  July in 2016.

The first challenge is monsoon. Usually monsoon starts in June and stops in September. That means there are at least 4 months of rain. Personally I hate rain, not to mention it happens in summer. The wet and hot…humid. It doesn’t keep raining but usually rains suddenly and heavily. Thus the traffic becomes terrible and the road is sometimes flooded. And if at that moment there is no single vehicle you can call for giving you a ride, it would make you feel like in the hell.

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The best solution is wearing rain boots.

Honking is the unique one on the streets. Drivers honk the horn no matter it is hurry, alert, pushing or noticing. For me it became kind of meditation whenever I was walking on the road, just ignore all the mess and noise, only focus on my steps. And crossing the road which is without signals is always like a competition. There is no such word “courtesy” on the road, everything and every one are competing with speed and spunk.

Dust, Dust and Dust….it is everywhere: floor, bed, desk and of course including my body. I think it is because the condition of roads. Majority of the roads in Mumbai are not well maintained and dust fly with the running of vehicles.

It is worth to talk about the train, the most important part of the life of Mumbai residents. Most of the staffs take trains every day between home and office. There is no gate for checking the tickets and even no guards because there are very huge numbers of passenger in and out in the train station every day. The rate of tickets are cheap and affordable. And as the same, there is no such word of “courtesy” in the train. While getting on and off the train I feel like the competition again. Just be ready for fighting…stand stable and hold your bag tightly…and go go go!!!

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It is good that female have their own carriage.
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Passengers are always hurry to get on and off the train.

Well, so far you may only read my crazy life of challenge. And there are still many, interesting or not, Let me tell you next time.

-To Be Continued-

One day I was in Varanasi-The ghats

We will never miss the ghats in Varanasi no matter how many time we had visited this historical, busy city.

For me, the best time in a day to visit the ghats is early morning and evening. Especially I love to walk along the ghats in the early morning. At this moment we can have a holy and wonderful experience with the sunrise. Although, in the early morning it is always busy at the ghats because there are many boats(both paddling boats and auto boats) on the Ganga river, many pilgrimages having the rituals, and other activities such like: washing and handing cloths dry, bathing….still we can find the peaceful essence which appears in our heart.

This time, I lived nearby Dashashwamegh ghat at Marigold P. Guest House which presents a perfect location for both Ganga river and shopping, food at those small alleys.

Usually I took 40 minutes walking from Dashashwamegh ghat to Assi ghat in the early morning. Whatever I saw along this walking was just perfect and I will never be bored with it.

Apart from this, those small alleys definitely bought me lot of confusion: 100% you will lost your way in it. :), and fun of discovering: food, groceries, drinks, sweets, sari, cloths, vegetable, fruit…and it is the most attractive in Varanasi.

I met few friends and exchanged our experience of life with each other. That was fantastic, and was the essence of travel as well.

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