The Heat is On

Having lived 12 years in India, you would think I wouldn’t gripe about the heat here in Berlin or anywhere else for that matter. Here’s the thing though, with the long Autumn that turns into a bitter Winter and then a prolonged and moody Spring, one tends to forget what real heat is all about. Heck, sometimes I forget what sunshine feels like. Summer has arrived, and is doing so with a vengeance, making up for all the rainy days, hail and gloomy periods and volatile temperatures. What they say about Berlin is true: you can experience all four seasons…

A New Favourite

Please listen to the song before proceeding… Fridays have become sacred to me ever since I reduced my working hours at the office. Sleeping in an hour longer and having a slow start, leisurely breakfast, and then just writing away. Internet radio has become part of my lifestyle, and on weekends, I start the day with jazz. This morning, while chilling on the sofa with the cats, there was a song that came on Radio Swiss Jazz that caught my attention and the lyrics spoke to me on so many levels. I didn’t catch the name of the artist, and…

Banana Homesickness

There are things in Asia that one simply cannot find here in Germany, and one of them is decent bananas. Before you go into a tirade about European banana pride, let me remind everyone that bananas are not native to Europe, are all imported from Asia, Latin America or Africa, and the imported bananas must comply with the EU standards and guidelines. Ironically, many of the banana exporting countries are also referred to as banana republics, a derogatory term to describe a developing country with continuous political instability and limited resources to export. This has nothing, absolutely nothing to do…

Hard Lessons of Frugality

Aside from building a brand new life alone after the divorce, one of the most difficult lessons (rather, on-going challenges) is frugality. This is such an alien concept to me because I grew up as a privileged expat child who never had to worry about the cost of things. I learned to indulge in the finer things in life from an early age, as most expat children do, because Daddy could always afford it or the company paid for it. Saving up for something was never in my cards, because if my parents wouldn’t get it for me, grandmother would,…

Champagne Trails Blog Live!

After trying out facebook with a following of 7000++ and an Instagram account of 12000 followers, both of which are inactive now, Champagne Trails has found a new home on WordPress. Visit the new site, TravelCat Diva: Champagne Trails Before you ask, yes of course the Lolita Bonita and Cherry Pie series have moved along with it.

The Zen of Mud Wallowing

There is a saying I grew up with: el hombre propone y Dios dispone (man proposes, the Lord decides) and this seems to be a recurring theme in my life as of late. The weeks following Easter offer several long weekends to either travel or be visited. Since I don’t work on Fridays, this means an extra long weekend for me to write, catch up on some much needed sleep, or on the rare occasion, be hostess to out-of-town visitors. There used to be a time in my life when entertainment at home with lavish five-course dinners was a regular…

The Zen of Flies

Like everything else in life, living by the river has advantages and disadvantages. The gorgeous sunsets and serenity of the water are priceless, and I wouldn’t trade them in for any money in the world. The down side, however, is that you have to live with all the flies, bugs and creatures that come along with the water. The river fowl I adore, looking forward each morning the sound of the ducks and coots in the water, even the occasional chatty swan or goose. The flies, horse flies and bow flies, however, are difficult to accept. Each year I promise…