January 2012

In Matheran, monkeys greet you as you enter the hill station 🙂

In a previous post, I talked about the Leftover Book Challenge–a self challenge to finish the unread books on my shelf. I am happy to say that I’ve finished my first book–The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins!

My Pinay friend, Aleta, gave me the book as a thank you gift when she visited me in Mumbai last year. Thank you, Aleta! This book is a definite page turner!

The story is reminiscent of the reality show “Survivor” except that it’s set in the future and the characters are fighting for their lives! I can’t get enough of Katniss Everdeen, from how she paraded around in her fire outfit, to her shooting acumen, and to her naivete at how beautiful and talented she is. I like how the author Suzanne Collins gets into her head, and takes us on a journey of how Katniss strategizes to win the audience as well as the Hunger Games.

Peeta is the man every woman wants, the man who fights for his love. Although, I actually like Gale more, Katniss’s best friend, the one she goes hunting with. I have a feeling that The Hunger Games, book one of the trilogy, has just planted the foundation for a future love triangle.

The language in The Hunger Games is also very poetic. The descriptions are clear and it’s an easy read (it’s written for adolescents, actually) but it’s good writing, something I haven’t had in quite some time! It’s also a good first book to read if you want to get back into the reading bandwagon.

I’ve started reading Catching Fire, book two of the trilogy, and I already I’m hungry for more! Five thumbs up for the Hunger Games. Thank you, Aleta, for gifting me with these two books. I’m hoping that Catching Fire will just be as good as the first installation of the trilogy.

Hope is when the local vendors and laborers of Matheran, a hill station in India, work hard to sustain and improve their local economy, and many of them do it with a smile. It’s much easier to blame others and complain than do the hard work to improve one’s life. These ordinary folk are India’s unsung heroes and they give me hope.

More to come on my trip to Matheran in the next blog entries!

Fruit vendor as you enter Matheran

Lemon juice for sale!

Human rickshaw

Women from the village walked several kilometers to deliver bales of hay.

In the non-veg section of Hypercity, I was about to buy my usual handful of prawns when I saw fresh sardines. As far as I can remember, it was my first time to see fresh sardines. I’m used to eating the 555 ones in a can, drenched in tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Cans dug out of the cupboards on a rainy Manila day, poured on top of fried eggs and fried garlic rice.

But that’s not what this post is about :). Here’s a recipe for one that takes around 30 minutes to prepare.

2 medium sized sardines
olive oil
salt and pepper
6 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1/2 cup of lettuce (chopped)
1 medium sized tomato (chopped)
1 teaspoon of anchovy
1 teaspoon of crumbled feta cheese
balsamic vinegar

Rub salt and pepper onto the sardines. Pan fry the garlic and sardines for ten to fifteen minutes.

On a salad bowl, lay a bed of lettuce. Place bits of the sardines on top of the lettuce. Add the garlic, tomatoes, capers, anchovy and feta cheese. Sprinkle balsamic to taste.

Bon appetit!

Someone’s drying their laundry in Vile Parle.

So now for the real list! (Heart beating fast in chest.) In my previous post, I mentioned that I bought this book in a Colaba bookstore–













Here are a list of sights, tours and restaurants that I would like to experience. Once I’ve posted an entry about it, I’ll make the list item a link so I can share my experiences with you.  Hope you enjoy this adventure as much as I do! 🙂

Sights and Museums:
1. Matheran
2. Wine Tasting in Nashik
3. Vasai Fort
4. Mumbai Port Trust Garden
5. Kala Ghoda
6. National Gallery of Modern Art
7. Jehangir Art Gallery
8. Prince of Wales Museum
9. Crawford Market
10. Dhobi Ghat
11. Mohammed Ali Road
12. Chor Bazaar
13. Kamala Nehru Park
14. Chowpatty Beach
15. Juhu Beach
16. Mani Bhavan
17. Sanjay Gandhi National Park
18. Gorai Island

1. Reality Tour’s 1 Day Village Tour
2. Reality Tour’s Mumbai by Night Tour

1. Bade Miya
2. Samovar
3. Busaba
4. Cafe Churchill
5. Ling’s Pavilion
6. Woodside Inn
7. Moshe’s Cafe
8. Tea Centre
9. Britannia
10. Mahesh Lunch Home
11. Kebab Corner
12. Highway Gomantak
13. Mia Cucina

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