Baku is a hidden jewel by the Caspian. It’s the prettiest city I’ve lived in.

They don’t celebrate Christmas here, but they do New Year’s with Santa Claus. They’ve adopted this tradition from the Russians. Instead of elves, Santa in Azerbaijan has Snegurochka. She is the granddaughter of Santa, and also a famous character in Russian folklore.


Baku also has these amazing blue skies which I can’t get enough of. This photo was taken in the park near the Filharmonija.

06_blue skies

Down the road, by the market, there’s a secret garden.

I look forward to the Weekly Photo Challenge every weekend because I am purposeful when I have a theme that I need to render. This photo challenge has also increased my observation skills.

As I walked along Kala Ghoda Street this afternoon, I noticed a leafless tree in front of a building undergoing restoration. It was ironic that the construction net was green and the tree wasn’t. In this frame, what is man-made overrode nature.

I continued to walk down Kala Ghoda and noticed that the blue in this shoe repair shop popped. I switched to the color accent mode in my camera to emphasize the blue.

As I was waiting for my lunch inside the Westside department store, it dawned on me that the paper receipt could be easily crumpled, torn up, thrown away, while the glass table was more solid and less malleable.

I’ve got a long weekend, one of many this year. Originally, I signed up for a tiger safari in Ranthambore but there were no more train tickets. And catching a plane plus renting a car didn’t seem worth it. So here I remain in Mumbai!

I decided to go shopping in Infinity Mall at West Malad. I’m not a mall person because I’d rather save than spend, but from my limited Mumbai mall experience this is my fave mall. If you go early, which means before 3 pm, there’s no one! A luxury in Mumbai! No need to squirm and wiggle your way through a crowd.

I also have a newfound fave shop. Mango! I stayed away from this shop in Manila because the clothes are quite pricey. And Filipinos (or should I say China?) has a way stealing Mango and Zara designs and making copies that you can find in tiangges, the Filipino word for bazaar, entrepreneurial stores where you can bargain!

So far, I’ve only found one bazaar store in Colaba with designs that I really like so for the meantime, Mango it is!

The have designed clothes that are sexy, carefree and perfect for a woman’s body.

I’m glad my trip to Ranthambore didn’t work out because now I can rest and pamper myself.

How do you take care of yourself?

It’s Holi today. Ear-splitting Hindi music beckoned from downstairs. Unwashed, I tied my hair back, slicked coconut oil on my skin on and wrapped my camera in kitchen plastic.

Trek trek trek. Six floors downstairs. Unarmed. No powder nor gun. Just a camera. Cling wrapped.

“Miss Sacha!” Children screamed. They water sprayed me. Pelted water balloons. Slathered powder on my face. All in the spirit of fun.

Holi, festival of colors, signifies triumph of good over evil. More color wars. Pelting pelting pelting. The evil that pervades. Rainbow colors used as weapons.

Tradition attaches colors to meaning. Red is purity. Matrimony. Pink meaning nothing I can find.

Holi (for me) ended with a sweet milk drink, peppered with cardamom and pistachios.

But from my sixth floor cave, hours after a hot shower, the music plays on. To the beat of the color war.

Pelt pelt pelt.