Living in America: Sunny Seattle

I had two sets of guests visiting from Hong Kong over the 1st week in April this year.

Guests who came with a few pre-conceived notions.  Notions where you inevitably put ‘Seattle, rain and Twilight ‘ all in the same sentence. (thankfully they were unaware of Ted Bundy and Gary Ridgway)

The last two weeks in March we had the most glorious weather, sunny and warm. celeryI was thrilled. ‘Oh yeah ! we (Seattle) will show you. You weather prejudiced people’

My first set of guests arrived 31st March. They left 6th April. The reception that Seattle gave them could only be described as…….COLD. It was actually a scene out of Twilight.Snoquo.001

I thought ‘you know what ? It’s fine. Spring is hit and miss’.  I had warned my guests and they took it in their stride.

However what really got my goat, and hence this post, is just when the Uber arrived to take them to the airport, out comes the sun blazing away merrily like it hadn’t let me down over for the past week.

Shortly after my first set of guests were well and truly on their way home, we went to catch up with our second set of friends over brunch.

It was so cold, we could barely say goodbye properly. No last minute chit-chat outside the cafe. We shivered, stomped our feet, hugged each other quickly and escaped into the warmth of our respective cars . No post-brunch walk around the neighbourhood as planned.

The next day they left for the airport….and……..guess what ? Yeah….sunny, warm, 17C/61F.

See the Needle ? That’s how it was when our friends were in town. Now ? Well what do you think ? Check those turtles out.Untitled.001

I am not complaining about the vagaries of the weather in spring. What I am complaining about is WHEN when the sun decided to come out.

Enroute to SeaTac International Airport…enroute to Hong Kong !

Seriously what is the point in impressing me, Sun ? I needed you to be there when my guests were here. To come out and STAY out, so I could show them the breathtaking beauty of Washington State. the mountains and the Eastside.

The only time they got to see Mt. Ranier was from the plane on their way back home!Rainier plane (1)

Oh well, rain, mist and we still enjoyed ourselves; Stuffed our faces with fresh oysters, gawked at the beauty of University of Washington, marveled the Snoquolmie Falls,  gazed in wonder at the Amazon Spheres, had a ball at Pike Place market, and most all was awestruck at the numerous cherry blossoms in full bloom.cherry blossom (1)

When you are from Asia whenever you think Cherry Blossoms, you think Japan !

Seattle ? Would have never crossed our minds.








Heart Rate Monitors – Mio Slice

The short :Don’t bother. You’re welcome. Goodbye

The long of it: I have rarely made new year resolutions. And in all my 40+ years I have probably made 2 resolutions and kept both.

This year  I resolved to up my fitness game. To keep track of that I decided to (re)invest in a heart rate monitor.

I didn’t want a device to talk to me or make my tea, just something that simply calculated Heart Rate. As I mostly do Yoga nowadays, something that calculated heart rate instead of “steps” was huge.

I had a Polar chest strap in the 90s. While the most accurate ,the big problem is you have to put it on while essentially, naked ! And too much work. Who wants to deal with all that ‘wet-strap-put-around-chest-then-wear-sports-bra’ and then get the rest of your gear on.

You wont believe how many times I have realized I had forgotten the chest strap with no time to strip down to put it on before my spin class.  And all that pinching when you are bending over during yoga was getting on my nerves.

So this year after much debate and research between the darling of the masses, the Fitbit, the oldie Polar I decided to go with the Mio, more specifically the Mio Slice.

Don’t buy it. I bought my Mio Slice off Amazon on 29th Nov 2017. I paired with my Samsung phone and it worked till Dec 22nd 2017.  After that…dead.

I have been on the phone with Mio support and on email since. About 20 emails and 7 customer support calls. My picture is probably on a dartboard  in their employee lunchroom !

Is it me ? Is it them ? I don’t know. It has caused me nothing but grief.  Most specifically do not buy online from Amazon. Will elaborate below.

So let my tale of woe commence.

The device: The SLICE will NOT work without downloading and activating the App on your phone. I did NOT realise that.  I thought the App was a nice extra for features I did not care for.  This is awful because if the app gets buggered, has a bug the device is basically a dust gatherer.

OS: I am a die hard Android/Samsung phone girl (who is madly in love with her MacBook laptop. Go figure)  Christmas 2017 Mio did an update and all of the sudden it stopped working with my Samsung device. Mind you Samsung phone updates automatically so the OS was up to date.

What got my goat is Mio support’s response. Basically boiled down to ‘yes we did an update and its not compatible with your phone anymore’.

ANYMORE ??!!! That bugs me no end. Complete lack of responsibility here.

Mio sent me a replacement and their suggestion; Try and pair it with another phone.

Yes ofcourse, everyone has multiple phones lying around the house…not.

I paired it with my husband’s iPhone. Yep all good…..


Mio’s happily ever after solution did not work here either !

iPhone: The device paired with my husband’s iPhone but guess WHAT ? A update your firmware message came on and it would NOT update.

Closed App. Forgot device, Clean data, clean cache, un-install, re-install. Nope.Update error.

Me: Now what Mio, now what ?

Mio: Is your wifi stable ?

Me: Yes Mio very stable. We live downtown Greater Seattle (and I happened to be standing near the router, which I did not bother telling them. I was already over their band-aid solutions by now.)

Mio: do not do the update, just use it as is.

Me: OK. (suspicious very suspicious! which App on earth would advice you not to do an update ???)

Device’s Accuracy : So finally the device is blinking it green lights like a christmas tree all paired (but not updated) but guess what ??? It’s off with its reading.

Years of treadmill, spin class, power yoga and personal training I am well aware of where my heart rate is. Resting, easy jog, a stroll or power yoga.

I woke up , still in bed, checked my Slice heart rate 112. My Samsung phone showed 62-70.

Mio suggested switch wrists. (rolling eyes)

I checked it today, both wrists. I was drying dishes while watching the Great British Baking show on PBS. My heart rate 182.

No not even Paul Hollywood coupled with a chocolate croissant  would spike my heart rate like that.

I wrote to Mio.  This time just for fun. Just how far will they go to NOT take responsibility for this device.

Oh I know ! This time it will be .. me !  I am just too damned alive I guess.

Honestly who devised this and are they still employed ?

Amazon: My biggest point to state here is DO NOT Buy this off Amazon. Why ? Because it took me more than their 30 days refund policy to find out this Slice is the pits !

Remember it worked…then Mio sent me a replacement.  By then it was no longer Amazon’s responsibility. I will however warn buyers of this on the Amazon review site.

I do believe that if I bought it at a sports store (like an REI) I am sure by now even the retailer would be fed up with Mio’s lack lustre response and give me a refund.

At this point I would like to meet the engineer or product development person for the Mio Slice and give them a public dressing down.













Living in America- 1 year On.


2018. Happy New Year America. It’s been hard and I am still learning to live here. And there are things I have discovered.

American Doors: I still have difficulty negotiating doors in commercial establishments (when the doors are NOT automatic)

Look I never put much thought in opening doors in other countries. I just randomly pushed every door.  Unless there was SIGN on the door that said “Pull” or “Push”.

But here it seems the rules are strict.  You _____ to enter and ____ to exit and I still haven’t grasped it.  Push to enter ? Pull to exit ? or is it the other way around ? Bah!

Till then I can continue to amuse the locals I guess.

American Paper : Did you know the mail here is very sharp ? Seriously.

I grew up in India, lived most of my adult life in Hong Kong and have travelled and worked around the world.  I worked in an office and I opened mail, carelessly all the time.

But boy oh boy 2017 in America was the 1 year in my life that I received the MOST paper cuts.  I constantly cut my fingers with the mail I opened.

What is it with this razor sharp paper ? Don’t we have enough violence in the world ?

American Hair:  Ok ok this just might be Kirkland ( Greater Seattle) hair.

I walk a lot. As a couple we walk where ever we can. 2 miles to Safeway ? Lets walk ! It’s probably the Hong Kong influence in me and my husband’s English genes.

Anyway for the past 1 year the 1 thing I find on the road are hair ties.


Not dog poo (thank god) but hair ties. Not torn ones but complete ones!

I am NOT joking. Within a 1 mile radius you will find at least 7 hair ties.  I mean how can you not know when your pony tail has come lose and your hair is whipping your face as you are on your run ?

My husband even said ‘maybe its from dogs’. You know those handbag dogs with fancy hair styles ? But I haven’t seen any dogs with hair-clips, bows or hair ties.

My only explanation is people in Kirkland WA have VERY silky hair!

There you go , the mostest first world issue of All first world issues in a first world country !

American Pronunciation:  I probably shouldn’t lump this observation as ‘American’ pronunciation because it is only some people, but I did anyway. You know, artistic license and all that!

So here goes; 3 words that take me right back to India.

Did you notice how certain Americans pronounce Police as Powh-liss ? Watch Live PD  on A&E and you will know what I am saying. 🙂

That takes me right back to the streets of Bombay. The local Marathi man on the street, ‘son-of-the-soil’ pronounces police (po-lees) Powh-liss.

And when I heard ‘aks’ instead of Ask,  I thought I had gone right back to Goa, India.

I honestly thought the Goans in India were the only people in the world most likely to say ‘aks’ then American TV proved me wrong. ( The other astonishing find was ” Thank-S God” too )

And then the last one is Nervous. I was watching Homeland Security or Border Security JFK and the customs officers were all so Nair-Viss. I was like WHAT ! You too ?

I thought school girls in Delhi were the only ones who were oh so Nair-viss. Them and customs officers in New York apparently.

It’s the ‘Viss’ (hiss) as opposed to the ‘Vous’ that annoys me !

And so life and learnings of a recent immigrant continues, and the feeling that I will never solve the hair tie mystery.













Living In America. Day 162

It’s now day 162 of my life here in the USA. I am a 3 hour flight away from my sister instead of 24 hours and Seattle is only place I want to live out of all the places in the US.

People say how about Portland? But I don’t want to be, you know………PORTLANDIA!men-portlandia-mpx

LIFESTYLE: I love Seattle’s hauntingly beautiful light, morning, evening or dusk. I love the trees whether in bloom or not, the mountains, the state’s stand on all things eco and on recycling, it’s hikes and trails, it’s BUSES (yea! shout out @King County Metro transport) and for being bicycle and pedestrian friendly. blog1The schizophrenic weather, not so much.  Is it raining. No it’s sunny. Oh no sorry I lied its windy and drizzling now. Oh no, wait, it’s now raining & sunny. WTF ? Do I run outside or not Weather ?

No. I had to opt for my ‘climate controlled’ gym instead (shaking fist at sky).

DREAMS: My dream came true. Most people look kinda disappointed when I tell them my dream. Disappointed in me, that is. My dream forever was to be able to walk to my yoga class! AND YES YES YES I can finally do it. I walk to Bala Yoga for my classes.

Proximity also saved me from spiralling into S.A.D depression when I got here in Nov.  4.30 pm and it was pitch dark! It really fked with my mind and my heart.  Thank God for yoga and thank God for being able to walk there. I even go for classes that end at 9pm

FASHION:  Maybe this is just a problem where I live, I don’t know. But I don’t care if Kate Hudson is modeling it, please wear leggings only if you are in the gym or at a yoga class, or getting to or coming from one. Other times it’s just lazy dressing. Like crocs and sweats.

Now, don’t be lazy. Swap them for a pair of jeans and soon you will pair those jeans with nice shoes. Maybe even high heels ? Who knows ?

The only way is…..Up!

ASPIRATIONAL WOMEN:  Again maybe this a Seattle thing I don’t know. But I LOVE the fact that I see ladies like me, everywhere. On TV, as models, as news anchors, on the boards of associations, giving speeches at gala dinners, lawyers, bus drivers, USPS postal service, in Sephora or ringing up the till at Macys.

I mean matured women. And often a lot of the women are proudly grey, roots and all. I love that !

I personally spent a lot of years competing in a world where the women got younger, the higher they went. And the first step in conquering that feeling of being invisible was to feverishly touch up my roots. Not any more.  I am slack and sloppy with my root touch-ups, do it when I feel like. But mostly I am purple ombre-d with grey roots and my sisterhood surrounds me.

POLICE:  Never have I seen police cruisers, cruising, with such frequency. At least once a day, I will see one somewhere, silently moving…… like a submarine……..but on the road.

Of course I got very excited. It’s like living in a detective novel.

Basically my steady diet of Forensic Files, Dateline, 48 Hours and Joe Kenda was now coming to life.  Where are they going ? What are they doing ? Did they make an arrest ? Who did they catch ? Why can’t they tell me ? I really really really want to know.

I looked at their Facebook thinking I would get a steady update of all the crimes they were chasing and solving. Alas not. Their Facebook is just a pleasant update from schools and citizens thanking them for a great school trip or a safety training class.

So back to YouTube and Netflix for me.

Things which have improved since my last post about Living in America are

  1. We found bread without added sugar
  2. I have figured out the doors in America and can open them right at most times (push)
  3. Pretty good with the light switches now
  4. And I don’t step onto incoming traffic because now I know which side of the road to stay on!

Onwards and Upwards

PS: did I say how MUCH I bloody love PBS ??? LOVE LOVE LOVE.







Dabbling in Lent

I am a Hindu. Practicing, non-practicing  and everywhere in between.

I don’t regularly visit temples or participate in all the numerous Hindu religious holidays but have Hindu icons sprinkled around my home, am respectful towards my holy book the Bhagwad Gita, will recite a quick prayer before a flight, join my palms and bow my head when I pass a temple and my absolute favourite Goddess is Ma Durga.fe3c75a921e5d0a71a8aa376f741224c

I used to be a lot more ‘Hindu’ right upto around 2011.

I had faith. Faith in prayer and in a God who would look after me. I would light incense and say a prayer in front of my Hindu altar table every morning before rushing off to work.

And then my mother died. A horrible, horrible, stretched out death. That was when I lost my faith. I lost faith that someone was ‘out there’ looking out for me.

I left God, of rather faith in God left my heart. I could not come to grips with the fact that I believed, I BELIEVED…. and I was let down.

After the initial feeling of betrayal and bewilderment, I spent a the next few years lost and incredibly sad.

I can not describe the loneliness it brings within oneself. That feeling that there was nothing there…nothing.

Then as the years passed a coldness entered my heart. I had turned away from God and I felt nothing.

In-fact my Hindu altar table was dismantled before I moved to America and here in my new home there is no altar. I light incense as an air freshener!

And then 4 days back,  I decided I will give up something for Lent.

Hang on a minute ! Lent ? What’s that ? Why ? Why Lent ?? I can not explain. I just decided.  Baaam!

3 days back I watched a short clip on RT News on Lent anchored by a hip, non-believer -believer…you know the type I mean ? And after that report I did a search ‘giving up something for Lent’. The first website I click open reads thus

Today we know Lent as a season of conversion: We acknowledge the ways we have turned away from God in our lives, and We focus on turning our hearts and minds back toward God.  

So here I am starting a brand new journey. A journey in symbolism. Let’s see where it takes me.

1993 Hong Kong was a new beginning for me. 2017 America is going to be Part 2 of that I believe.


Feeling Positive!



Feminine Wipes ?*&^%$%

(Warning: This post contains TMI)

I bought an awesome eye serum and received a few packs of Feminine Wipes, for free. Yaay….. NOT !! 

It took a lot of effort on my part to not fling it back at the cashier. It’s not her fault. Preying on insecurities is what Commerce is built on. 

2016-03-17 15.58.50

There are articles dedicated the Pros and Cons of Feminine wipes.  And I belong to the Con side of things.

While common-sense hygiene, underwear  and diet is always good,  I find ‘wipes’ dedicated to the Va-Jay-Jay (thanks Oprah for the word !) offensive.

I don’t see wipes for men. Then why, why do we need it ?  The natural taste and odour is what the vagina is designed to have. Nature knows best.

And what maddens me even more is the allergic reaction these products can have.

My own experience – THRUSH !

Now being allergic to wheat I have suffered, what in the past was a pretty frequent attack of, Vaginal thrush. I shudder to recall the sharp pain-itch even as I type.

Sitting in Vinegar baths, garlic suppositories, what not. I stopped my frequent wheat consumption and has helped keep this ‘pain’ at bay

However in my early, ignorant years, I ventured into Feminine Wash. And HOLY F*** The Thrush !!!

I don’t care how well formulated modern VJJ washes or wipes are. Don’t mess with nature.

I know there are discharge and odour issues that might have underlying medical-diet  reasons. A topical, cosmetic suppressant is not the answer.

And again, who said the Vagina needs a wipe or ‘perfume’?

Really offended.

Use them to wipe your makeup brushes or spilt foundation.


The Colour of Friendship (Bobbi Brown, Guerlain, Armani) when a friend relocates countries and leaves you her make-up. She is every colour of the palettes she left for me. I see her in my mind’s eye in High Def colour.  A more lasting memento I am yet to appreciate.

Guerlain, Dior, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge, Giorgio Armani and Benefit Lust Duster

I hit the JACKPOT

Because my friend is a meticulous Virgo with excellent taste I hit the JACKPOT.  Sparingly used, spotlessly maintained Guerlain, Bobbi Brown, Giorgio Armani and Dior.

I think of her everyday as I apply the tinted Bobbi Brown moisturiser (not in above picture, it’s in my gym bag) on my face, and rejoice. There is something about this moisuriser. There is a inner glow. There is not a hint of sparkle, gleam or shimmer but I am lit.

I am going to buy this to re-place of my Bobbi Brown BB cream.

The other magical one is this Guerlain blush palette. As I blend I think ‘wow <name of friend> ( this is a great find!’ I would typically never pick a Guerlain.

2015-06-21 08.47.50

It’s a rich pigmented blush and what I find magical is the more you blend the more the colour seems to strengthen. Odd huh ?

Ignore the brush. Why even bother to include a scratchy brush ?

I haven’t focused on the staying power so cant comment but what I can say is a little goes a long way. Its not shimmery or anything, though you can see flecks in the darker coral and the baby pink.


The Dior palette is subtle. A ‘my features but better’ palette for my skin-tone.

My fav out of the lot is the shaded bronzer. No shimmer and makes for a subtle contour on my NC40 skin-tone. The blush looks brown here but its a Dusky Rose. A natural flushed look.

Unfortunately I can’t give details on the palette, because I depotted them AND moreover it was probably Inflight Duty Free 🙂

Now these two products below make me laugh. Because I know my friend. How did she end up buying these I keep forgetting to ask her. Even I am fearful of these two and I know she is a fledging makeup user. The Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill and the Benefit Lust Duster

2015-06-21 10.34.38

2015-06-21 10.33.54
Top Benefit Lust Duster. Bottom Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill cream eye shadow

I can’t really review these two, because I am not proficient enough to use them.  The Benefit one is just a clear Pearl dust and the Armani is a cream turquoise/sky blue shimmer shadow.

Though having said, after swatching it for this post, I might start playing with them. But not sure what look I would create. Probably a thin line above the lash line for that pop. I personally wouldn’t apply the Armani all over my lid, I would just look like that over madeup old lady on the train!

2015-06-21 10.09.19
LEFT: Armani. RIGHT: Lust Duster

The Armani is a cream shadow and applies well with fingers or my flat Shu Uemura brush, that frankly works with anything, even jam. There is fall though so do it before you apply your foundation/concealer/cream.

And oh, also I put a face mask on while writing this post and I splashed my face over the basin to wash the mask off, forehead, nose, cheeks and the Armani didn’t budge!

The other lucky find in my friend’s stash was the Estee Lauder palette. But I could cry! I tried to depot and couldn’t save the eye-shadow or the coral blush.

That mauve-y brown eye shadow shade, 2nd row, left,  I have not been able to find anywhere in Hong Kong. The closest was Bobbi Brown Heather, but its too ‘bruise-y’ on me.

And that coral blush ? To die for. ‘I just worked out’ flush.

Thankfully the setting powder and lipsticks escaped scot-free, thank god! They are nice but the stars of the palette are unfortunately dead.

Anyway this post is long overdue but thank you R for leaving me with these absolutely wonderful memories . I enjoy them immensely and you are always on my mind, atleast once in the morning and once post gym  🙂