The MRT series – Woodleigh (NE11)

An up and coming area of re-development, actually the most iconic place Mel can think of near the station is Mount Vernon. But because it is a columbarium, it would be dis-respectful to post pictures and disturb the peace of the deceased… sorry no photos.

On the other hand, the entire place is becoming a giant construction site as new government built apartments are literally springing up. Perhaps someday when this is all completed Mel can revisit again in one of his future walks.

←Potong Pasir (NE10)

→Serangoon (NE12)

Part of the MRT series here.

The garden on an island

If you thought this post is one more piece about our island home (aka the little red dot), well sorry. Not so! Well it is about an island, though one that is not set in the sea. Huh? Yup, this island is now lush with vegetation where it was once barren and devastated. And it is now home to an incredible assortment of residents.

This is definitely dedication.

Jadav spent the better part of his life planting a tree every day on the river island of Majuli in north-eastern India (story here). Here is a man who spent time and effort performing this tree planting feat which covers more than NYC’s Central park over a period of almost 40 years (wow this number seem to be repeated oft times on this blog).

It is stories like this that provide some hope that indeed we just might have a chance at working to mitigate the effects of climate change, albeit a little limited now that we are so far along the curve.

Our little red dot has been fortunate that we had a leader who had that vision more than 50 years ago to do the same. And today we reap the rewards of living on a lush island full of green too. Don’t you wish there are more people like Jadav? Can we be like him too?

Heartlands of Greece

After our herculanean olympian effort to visit the home of the games, it was time to move on. Heheh. Yep, could not help it. Sorry. But you see, how can be pass up on the chance to create a little spin out of it? We had crossed over the tiny strait that separate the pelopponese peninsula from the greek mainland (here).

For the next stop we made was to have our fortunes told. Yep, seers were all powerful intermediaries to the gods (they still are today?). Information. What you don’t know you cannot use. And what better information than about the future? Imagine a seer tells you which stock will skyrocket in price in the next week. What would you do?

Pause for a thought here.

Ok, don’t tell us for only you need to know. For where we headed next is a place for those in search of solitude could find solace. Well north towards the northern frontier of the country is home to previously isolated communities of hermit monks. That isolation was broken many years back as tourism and roads made access to their clifftop abodes easily accessible.

They say you need to be hoisted up to the clifftop monastery in a basket. That would be quite neat wouldn’t it be an experience? Alas, the reality is more conventional methods were used, such as a gas guzzling metallic horse… read all about it here.

The MRT series – Potong Pasir (NE10)

This is the name of a long standing opposition ward, though geographically it isn’t exactly in the same area as the defined constituency… you know the boundaries are redrawn because of many ‘reasons’…

Did you see the picture above of the public housing apartment with its own ski slope? Who says it can only be the Jamaican team that fields a bobsleigh team? Heheh… with a little modification don’t you think our little red dot can send a ski jumper the winter Olympics?

←Boon Keng (NE9)

→Woodleigh (NE11)

Part of the MRT series here.

How much do you carry on journeys?

Everytime we make a journey, a lot of work has to be done. Evaluating and selecting clothing that we’d take with us. Thinking about the accessories and toiletries that should also be brought along…

We were inspired to write about this after reading ths post. Now you might have read of our tirade on the payment for checked luggage in the past especially on journeys across the US. And we have also shared how you can try to sneak up more as carry-on luggage here.

Perhaps we are biased, but our own observations were for a gradual decline in the amount of luggage “allowance” a passenger gets on flights over the past 20 years. Only in recent years have we witnessed a slight turnaround in our national carrier. Not that we are advertising for them, some of their peers are also doing the same. It might be that elsewhere in the world the trend remains in motion to have passengers granted less kilos…

But today we revert to the considerations in the first paragraph.

That is – to the question we posed in the title of this post. How much luggage does one carry when embarking on a journey. Sure, for shorter journeys we’d expect a lot less. But are there basic things that you will find ‘compulsory’ to bring along regardless of the length of the trip?

The place which launched 1000 ships

Heheh. A little spin with the title of this post (here). Now we all know of the face that launched a thousand ships. But do you know of the place that initiated this? Who was the mastermind that managed to convinced, cajoled or threathened the ancient greeks into amassing an armada to sail across the Aegean?

Today’s post is not about the fight at Troy, since the movie would have told you an abbreviated and sensationalized version of history.

We want to show you what remains of the place from which a man exuded his influence and power to command such an effort. And this place is Mycenea. Today if you visit the city you will might need an umbrella. For when we went there were literally no shade worthy of name on the plateau of an ancient city. And the blazing sun might turn you into a sundried piece of tomato if you are not careful. Sunscreen recommended.

But probably that’s because we were there in August (yeah) during high summer. Serve us right. Right? We had blazed across from Athens (here) and the stop here was however brief… for we were on an olympian quest to get to the site of the original games. One so important to the ancient greeks that war could be put on hold for it!

Unfortunately there weren’t any nymphs to light the torch for us while we were there, though we did march into the stadium in style. Did you know how the greeks raced with it came to track and field? Care to guess? Or you would read up for the answer in the link here.