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Showing posts from June, 2017

Budding up at Brickfields

You can recognise a well settled place when you walk through one.    The vibes cascade in to your heart and gut feel.   It is not just the multitude of colours, noise and people.  It is as if you have to instinctively acknowledge the layer upon layer of culture, religion, happening and interaction.   You are not a trained archaeologist, but you readily know there is  trail of the preceding before the present.     One such place is an inner city suburb in the Klang Valley in Peninsular Malaysia - Brickfields.


Even the English name belies that not all is what it seems to be.   The colonial British named the suburb, but today they are no longer here or in  charge.   What strikes a first time visitor is the diversity of the main strip - Tun Sambanthan Road.     The thoroughfare is named  after an independence fighter for Malaya in the middle of the 20th century   -  TS came from an immigrant south Indian background.    


The Golden Cheronese, or what the Peninsular was referred to at the hei…

Meeting at Meekatharra

Our fellow diners - two well worn fellas, having simple meals - were perhaps at the same time surprised, delighted and wary - when the four of us, three women and a guy - asked if we could share the worn out wooden table to sit with under the early night sky.    We had left over canned tuna, instant noodle soup and ten days of being on the road when we got social with two prior strangers as if we were at a pub.   Two individuals who taught me a lot in under an hour of conversation.


So how did we landed up here that evening?   We had driven out of Karijini, out of the southern Pilbara region which is better known for its mining, road trains, dirty red sand dusted trucks, occasional camper vans - and headed to Perth, in a more benign and lush corner of south-western Australia.   I had been advised by the owner of Miss Nuggets, a fiesty small sized doggie with not much fur, to be more mindful of our belongings in this hub of Meekatharra, which has a population of not more than 950 permane…

Karijini National Park - Joffre Falls and Gorge

Western Australia

Western Australia! We slept rough, drove for long hours and mostly had sustenance of canned tuna sandwiches and plain drinking water. We did the stereotyped activities of star gazing, having red dust on our shoes and backs and immersing part of us in clear water streams.  Yet it opened my eyes to the Australia beyond capital cities, with the sheer influence of the natural elements on such a huge chunk of this continental island. We were fortunate to explore during the dry season. I was taken out of my comfort zone in bush walking on challenging trails, the level of difficulty of category 5 involving good shoe grip, physical dexterity and changing my mindset.  I loved meandering up the Indian Ocean coast, particularly for its sunsets, unique marine life, dramatic landscapes and sheer isolation. At the same time, I did not get the opportunity to meet as many Indigenous people as I expected. Perth is such a unique place so far from other parts of the world. It has a quiet lifestyle that…