Saturday, 26 July 2014

Kirat Yakthung Chumlung 2014

Is it just me or does everyone else also feel like there's been a  phenomenal speed in time? It has already been a year since my first post about Yakthung Chunglung. 

As this is a yearly event in the Nepalese community, I was reluctant to attend but my parents insisted with all their lectures about “This is our culture and we should keep it alive for generations.. etc. etc.” (I think lots of Nepalese can relate to this). So, I decided to attended with the thought of creating a new post. Compared to last year, more people showed up, a much more variety of food were served with some authentic alcoholic beverages (Toungbaaa; I personally recommend this) as well. It was a colourful event with most people wearing authentic attires in this scorching heat, dancing and singing with their relatives and friends whom they hardly get to meet. I have to say, it was livelier than last year. 








Summer events without BBQ is unacceptable.








This is the alcoholic beverage Toungbaaa. Straw used for suction, tastes sweet! And of course, gives you a good buzz. Hahahaha :) 





Demonstration of the traditional Limbu dance where people play the drums in a certain tempo (also called dhool) and dance in a circle. This group was practising for a competition. 

Limbu dress and ornaments.

Protecting against the heat with some umbrellas.





Friday, 20 June 2014

Rōma



     Yes, back to Italy again and hopefully will be in the future too. It's difficult to resist the beauty of this country. This time, I headed to Rome which is a lot larger in comparison to Venice, so there was some miscalculation on the number of holidays taken. It was a 3-night trip. 

    Journey to Rome started with our little group of trio (or a 1 male, 2 female bunch of musketeers) consisting of myself, Suvexa and Rajni. As I took my first step off the plane, the humid air, which I found welcoming, of Fiumicino airport saunaed us. The weather was much much warmer than back in London. Although the taxi ride to the hotel was confusingly rough, the excitement of being in the city quickly nullified the terror. Jet-lagged and moody with hunger, we ended our evening with eating just near the hotel. Everyone was up quite early which was a bit of an achievement for myself really as I always seem to skip breakfast. 

We then finally headed off to explore Rome. First stop; Vatican City




    We had quite a bit of misconception whilst entering St. Peter’s Basilica church. After queueing on such scorching heat and going thorough metal detectors and X-ray machines at the entrance, the security informed us that the girls' clothes were inappropriate and were told to cover their shoulders with scarves. So the ladies headed off to purchase the mentioned items and sadly, we had return to the very back of the queue.



     The second misconception we had was considering tickets. So, there are two types of tickets shown on the counter €5 for the stairs and €7 for elevators. Thinking that we would not need the elevator, we took the stairs; an unforgettable mistake. My legs still cry in pain with just the thought of climbing those stairs. Word of advice; get an elevator. 

     It was, however, well worth the effort for a spectacular view waiting for us there and then. Just like any other typical tourist, I took a lot of pictures from the top of the church and hung out (well, more like glued my ass to same spot for more than an hour) on the huge terrace. As we were preparing (stretching muscles) to descend from the church, this saviour of a security guard offered us a ride on the elevator (faith in humanity restored). 









    After the intense climbing, cardio and dehydration, we started out hunting for food. We found a decent looking restaurant and immediately asked the waiter if we could sit near to the air conditioner; the heat was taking its toll on us. The waiter, who happened to be a lady killer of a man, started flirting with Suvexa, singing Frank Sinatra's 'Can't take my eyes off you'. Having seen the Italian charm in action, we started to think if he was getting pretty serious as he kept coming back to her repetitively! 

Castle Sant'Angelo









Flavian Amphitheatre Colosseum 

Top tip: EU members get discounts on these ancient historic sites. Unfortunately for the cashiers, they had to check onto our passports and licences quite repeatedly.

















Foro Romano







Triton Fountain

Since Trevi Fountain was under restoration, we visited the Triton Fountain instead which is situated on the roundabout. 



     We were browsing the streets for souvenirs when suddenly a bird guy came along and gave these birds to Suvexa and Rajni. As he saw me carrying the camera, he told me to take a picture of them so I took a few. At the end, he took the birds back and, boom, €10 flew away just like that! We were starting to wonder if we just look too gullible.  



    In the end, I found this venue of exploration as a  massive city of ruins but with a sublime beauty and a great history. It was a disappointment that I could not visit all the ancient sites due to such short time but as Arnold Schwarzenegger said in The Terminator, I left Rome with the classic, "I'll Be Back".