April 16, 2019

Tags: Saigon, Travel

She is prettiest at night

Saigon at night

Saigon at night

Saigon at night

Saigon at night

Saigon at night

Saigon at night

March 16, 2019

Egg and onion prata in Singapore

Once in a while it is good to be in Singapore and try the local food.

Egg Onion Prata

Egg Onion Prata

Food Singapore
March 8, 2019

Forced patriotism

So I read that Indian Airlines is being asked by the government to end their announcements with a patriotic slogan Jai Hind” (hail India). Reminds me of the time in my school in India of 1980s. The latecomers and other offenders in our school were made to stand in a row with their palms outstretched. The discipline teacher would then walk along the row, striking the palms with a cane. It hurt, especially in the winters.

I had developed a strategy to make this experience less stressful whenever I happened to be in the offenders row for the day. Though often getting into trouble for questioning the wrong map” of the nation in our geography text, just as an ardent atheist turns religious before an exam, I too would pretend that I was a patriotic spy who has the misfortune of being captured by the enemy. As the cane weilding teacher came closer to me, I would imagine that she was the enemy interrogator.

Teacher, raising the cane and ready to strike Will you be late to school again?”
I imagined the teacher as a Chinese or Pakistani secret service interrogator. I subtitled her word as Tell us the secret of your country”
The cane come down and struck the palm…
Me wincing in pain nevvverrrr”. I followed it up by inaudible mumbling I will never tell you the secrets of my country, Jai Hind”. The hail India” at the end gave me just enough strength to bear the pain.
As the teacher moved on to the next offender, our brave and patriotic spy remained defiant, only to plot the next anti-national mischief.

Patriotism indeed is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

Forced Patriotism

A few years later, after I had watched the James Bond movie Octopussy, I used to mumble Generel Orlov’s last words whenever I was admonished by the teacher, But tomorrow, I shall be a hero of the Soviet Union”.

March 5, 2019

Better late than never, the physical dual SIM Hong Kong iPhone

I dislike having many gadgets, charging plugs and cables. But as a frequent traveler, I end up carrying two phones to accommodate the home and travel SIM cards. I know there are Android phones that have had the dual SIM for some years now, but I am stuck to Apple because of some apps that do not have Android equivalents. Also, I can’t stand the bloatware that comes pre-installed on Android phones. So I was happy when Apple introduced the dual SIM phone last year. The dual SIM models released in most countries supports one physical SIM and and an eSIM. The Hong Kong, Macau and China versions of dual SIM iPhones; however, feature physical dual SIM. I exchanged my old iPhone for an Hong Kong iPhone XR. I avoided the eSIM version as I am sure the carriers will try to lockdown the eSIM and make it very difficult to switch lines.

I got yellow

Dual SIM iPhone from Hong Kong

The double sided SIM tray Dual SIM iPhone from Hong Kong

Under the settings, I can choose what SIM I want for data. Both the SIM can receive and make calls. There is also a switch to turn off the SIM, say after you have come back from your travels. Unlike some Android phones, you cannot install two sets of social media apps, but I do not care for that feature.

Dual SIM settings on Dual SIM iPhone from Hong Kong

Overall, it is a decent and simple implementation of dual SIM.

Cable ki dukaan!!

When I see people traveling with a big luggage, my inner monologue blurts in Hindi Bhaiyaa ji, dukaan lagani hai ka”, Brother, are you planning to set up a shop”. While I have settled on a single power charger (a 60 watt Apple USB C charger), I still have to carry to one USB C cable (for iPad, Ricoh GR camera, and the Sony Headphones) and another Lightning cable for the iPhone. I feel like I am setting up a dukaan (shop) of cables. I wish Apple had switched to USB C for iPhones too. I have one idea though, if there was a USB C powered iPhone battery case.

tech Apple
March 3, 2019

The kitten that rescued us from the humdrum

I was walking around downtown Saigon and I saw a strange sight. It was a cardboard box moving by itself and it was making crying sounds. Upon closer inspection, I found that it was actually a kitten that was dragging the box, trying hard to extract itself. I bent down and tried to pull the box away but the kitten cried in pain. There was a layer of glue covering the inside of the box that was stuck to the poor animal’s fur. A nearby fruit vendor spotted me. She came running and offered her knife. We tried to pry the fur but the glue was too strong. Another drinks vendor came to inspect our operation. She offered us a bottle of water to help clean away the glue. The water did the trick and within a few minutes, we were able to get rid of the box. As soon as the kitten got free, it darted away. The drink vendor refused my offer to pay for the bottle. The fruit seller went back to cutting her fruits. I love this city, something interesting always happens.

We did not rescue the kitten. It rescued us from our humdrum.

Cat in the box

Saigon Cat
February 18, 2019

The Cc Zombies

The tyranny of CC. Often when I send an email to some organisation, every reply ends up having some new person added to the thread without any introduction on how they are involved in the conversation. Always reminds me of a zombie outbreak. It is probably unfair to the new person too - they are expected to go back an read the entire thread to get the context.