Category Archives: Singles

My Absolutely Fabulous Travels With ‘Joanna Lumley’.


Two days into our travel, I tell Liz, ‘You remind me of Joanna Lumley.’  She smiles. ‘Funny you should say that, we used to know each other, you know’.  Liz and Joanna may not have been best buddies, but they certainly rubbed shoulders as they both worked for the same modelling agency, quite some time ago…   Glam chick, down to earth explorer of an abandoned island, and of course Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous…  Liz does not ask which guise of Joanna I refer to ..  Truth be told, as our travels unfold, she fits all of them, although it is the ‘Patsy moments’ of those first few days that are the most memorable…

Being an intrepid traveler by now, it is refreshing to travel with someone who is experiencing ‘adventure travel’ for the first time.  Not that I am that adventurous…. But I have become quite blasé about hopping on planes and this time, we are sampling budget travel.  Using trains and buses, negotiating border crossings rather than queuing at immigration at busy airports, and leaving quite a few of our arrangements to the last minute and to chance.  Travel flashpacker style. Minimalist, taking just the bare minimum.  Laptop and smartphone, what else can we need?  ‘Remember,’ I warn Liz, ‘We have to be able to carry everything’ as she lists the essentials she will be cramming in her suitcase.  Pop-up over-the-bed mosquito net.  Mosquito repellent impregnated jungle-ready trousers.  Mossie/bug/midge proof jacket, complete with zip up face covering.  Instant camera (do they still exist?) and the obligatory selfie-stick….

After just three days in Vietnam and hauling her heavy suitcase along the full length of the platform at Quang Ngai train station, Liz decides that maybe she can dispense with some of the less important items in her suitcase.  To her defence, the platform in Quang Ngai is actually non-existent as all the pavement slabs have been removed and the area next to the rails looks as if a digger has been having a whale of a time mixing stones and sand and depositing it in huge, uneven clumps.  Whilst I spend my last night at the Language Centre teaching my last two lessons – a minor interruption of my holiday – Liz spends her evening repacking her suitcase and selecting items and souvenirs to be dispatched to a place of safekeeping in Hanoi, the last stop on her trip.

We finally start our real holiday the next day, with a six-hour bus journey to the mountainous inland area of Kontum.  A little of the beaten track, public transport and bus services to Kontum are still somewhat lacking in luxury.   Our bus turns out to be a 16-seater to be shared with about 20 people and doubles up as a parcels-and-packages delivery service.   Boxes on the roof, in the boot and under every seat and crevice in the vehicle.  Still quite comfortable compared with the sardine travel I experienced in India and it looks like my backpack will be perched on my lap for the duration of the trip.  Liz is not impressed and desperately tries to defend her personal space in the van… With all the seats taken and only a little bit of standing room near the sliding door in front of her, the van stops to pick up yet another passenger.  He squeezes into the narrow space between Liz’s anguished face and the window.  She explodes with British ‘Patsy’ indignity.  She furiously waves her fan – newly purchased in Hoi An – in the direction of the ‘bus conductor’ and implores, ‘Excuse me!!  Excuse me!!  You cannot be serious!! I cannot look at his butt for six hours…  Excuse me!!’  Her cries fall on deaf ears.  Luckily the man only needs a short lift and soon Liz can breathe a sigh of relief, until the next stop…  But by then she has accepted the inevitable… the constant ebb and flow of extra passengers on the bus.  And let’s face it, tiredness kicks in and sends everyone to sleep.


Another issue that causes consternation is money, Vietnamese Dong in their millions and the ubiquitous US dollars Liz has been advised to bring on her travels.  Currency is not a problem for me, having worked in Quang Ngai for the last year means I have a Vietnamese bank account and do not yet have to worry about exchanging money.  And further afield I wield my currency card: topped up with small amounts at a time to be used at ATMs, in local shops and restaurants and even for online payments.  An essential travel companion: I carry very little cash and there is very little risk if the card got stolen or lost.

It isn’t until we reach Kontum that Liz needs to replenish her supply of Dong.  In cities such as Danang or Hoi An, which are on the regular tourist route, dollars are common currency, but Kontum has not yet reached this level of international interest and dollars are pretty much alien.  As dollars are not accepted in our hotel, we venture to a bank.  Surely, we should be able to exchange dollars in a bank.  It’s Saturday morning and the bank is quiet.   We are quickly motioned to sit down with one of the tellers.  Liz produces her notes.  She tries her luck with a wodge of Hong Kong dollars first, left-overs from a previous life.  ‘Can I have some Vietnamese Dong, please,’ Liz enunciates, slowly accentuating each and every syllable. . The bank employee looks terribly confused and studies the notes.  I point to the board behind her, ‘HKD… Hong Kong dollars… You clearly know about them, you are giving an exchange rate on the board.’  The girl shakes her head, uncertain about what to do.  Liz decides to leave the HKD for another time, and puts the big guns on the table: US dollars…  The girl counts the notes, studies them, checks the pictures, calls her supervisor.  The process is repeated, only this time both sides of the notes are under scrutiny..  The supervisor is at a loss and turns to her boss for advice.  No joy there as her boss angrily swats her away; she clearly has more important things on her mind than tending to the needs of customers, picking her nose for instance…  The girls revert to their task and sort the notes in piles of the same denomination, and discard any ‘unclean’ notes: the ones with writing on them, or other marks.  ‘Hello, the exchange rate is on the board behind you…’  Liz is beginning to see red and it does not take long for the situation to evolve into a Patsy moment…  Fed up with the lack of any progress and the inability of the bank staff to make sense of our language – both verbal and body – she snatches her crisp dollar notes.  ‘These are perfectly good bank notes, dispensed by a BRITISH bank!!  We are British and this is good British money!!  I will go somewhere else…’  Liz stomps out of the bank…  Luckily, the ATMs around the corner are more forgiving and willing to accept bank cards that have not been issued in Vietnam, albeit at a nice commission for them…  And when we reach the more popular tourist destination of Dalat, exchanging dollars becomes child’s play.

Hmmm… if ever Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders are looking for inspiration for a new Absolutely Fabulous…  How about ‘Patsy and Edina go trekking in Vietnam’… we could provide them with plenty of original materials…  We haven’t laughed so much for a long time…

Life in a hammock. I think I could do it.


Sometimes when I look back through my photographs, I realise I miss the crucial ones.  Usually there is no shortage of sunset and sunrise snaps, or even stunning scenery, but the images that eventually help me to tell a story, I may not have thought relevant at the time.   In the case of my visit to Pulau Dayang Bunting, it was all there, full in the face, but overcome by a sense of shyness, I hesitated to take out my camera to take the shots that could  accompany the story.  The story of have and have-nots, the story of how little we really need to be truly content and happy…


Shade was waiting for me at the quayside, as arranged.  Wiry and strong, he hoisted my suitcase up the steep and slippery steps on the way to his car.   From the pictures and description of the airbnb I had chosen, I was certainly not expecting to be collected in a luxury car, but Shade clearly lived modestly.  My suitcase comfortably fitted into the car boot, precariously fastened with a piece of string.  Rain was kept at bay by a large sheet of plastic covering  the back windscreen and fresh air pierced the taut tarpaulin stretched over the side passenger window.  But the engine was running fine, and on an island that mostly basks in sunshine,  who needs windows anyway when natural ventilation keeps everyone cool.

On our way to the house, Shade offered to give me a quick tour of the island.  Much smaller than the main island of Langkawi, Dayang Bunting did not take long to explore by car, especially as one side of the island is uninhabited and only accessible by boat, or on foot of course… armed with a machete to hack a path through the jungle.  A pity really, as that part of the island is home to the ‘Lake of the Pregnant Maiden’, a freshwater lake formed after the surface of a large underwater cave crumbled  and the cavity filled up with water.  Unfortunately, attempts to forge a hiking trail through the jungle had long since been abandoned, the thicket too dense and fast growing to turn it into a viable tourist attraction.


The island itself was divided into two parts, connected by a narrow, seemingly sturdy bridge, but barely wide enough to allow motorbikes or bicycles to get past each other, let alone accommodate the width of a car.  At least this bridge was still intact, because the smaller one that we needed to cross to reach our final destination had recently collapsed and was under repair.  The bridge had been in a dire state for some time, and although all island dwellers had expected its imminent demise, it had not stopped anyone from using the bridge until it finally gave way…  ‘Just so you know,’ Shade clarified, ‘We now have to go through the school grounds…’  as he veered the car onto the school premises, passing through the school gate, skirting the playground and exiting through another gate at the other side, before turning into the last stretch to his home.


My accommodation was comfortable, clean and with all the  essentials: my own private bathroom, a whirring fan to keep things cool, a TV and ample WiFi access…  plus a spectacular view over the bay.  As the main aim for this part of my holiday was relaxation, I spent plenty of time lounging in the hammock outside watching life at the seashore.  Local fishermen set traps to catch crab; others washed and rinsed their fishing nets after hauling in the early morning yield and the local ferry service was running smoothly, like clockwork.  Every morning, just before sunrise, the village water buffalo lumbered past my chalet, slowly submerging into the cool of the sea, looking for food.


Intent on not lazing about all the time, I borrowed Shade’s bicycle and ventured to the other side of the island.  Not where the lake was, but just over the hill…  Unfortunately, the bike was not exactly in best shape lacking gears to get me up the hill, and brakes to make it safely down again.  I pushed the bike along on foot, not wanting to risk life and limb.  ‘Take the motorbike,’ Shade had recommended, but with vivid and recent memories of e-bike rides in China, I much preferred to give the bicycle a go.  Shade looked sheepishly on my return, and agreed that maybe the bike desperately needed a decent overhaul before he would lend it to another visitor…  ‘Although,’ he added, ‘most of the guests happily use the motorbikes..’


Walking seemed to be the best way for me to check out the island and I do enjoy hiking.  But even this exploit came to an abrupt end when a well-intending local insisted on giving me a lift home on her motorbike…  So much for my endeavour to get in some exercise.  As we approached the entrance of Shade’s home, she stopped abruptly, motioning being frightened by the dogs which freely roamed the premises…  Malaysia being a predominantly Muslim country mostly adheres to Muslim rules and dogs are a big no-no.   Shade had needed a special dispensation from the local imam to be allowed his dogs.  ‘Well,’ he had argued, ‘living at the end of the road, the dogs are here to protect my home and property…’


His Airbnb accommodation consisted of a few beach-fronted huts, a spacious indoor dining  room for entertaining guests, and a romantic, secluded area for al fresco meals by candlelight.  In his younger years, Shade had been a chef in a renowned hotel but had since made playing host to foreign and local patrons his purpose in life, leaving the cooking and kitchen duties to his wife.  Whilst his father scoffed at the way Shade lived, ‘Look at your brothers in Kuala Lumpur…  One a pilot, the other a flight attendant.  They lead a comfortable life…’, Shade relished in greeting his English speaking guests in an accent polished to British perfection.   His father had been employed by the British military when Malaysia was still under British rule, so mastery of English had been a must in the household, and something Shade took great pride in.  Visitors from far flung places, as well as Malaysian tourists, have become regulars at his airbnb, and rather than quenching his thirst for knowledge by travelling himself, Shade’s international guests and neighbours are his window to the world.

Would I recommend the airbnb on Dayang Bunting for a break?  Definitely!!  The food was sumptuous, the hospitality unrivalled, the relaxation real.  So much more Malaysia than the touristy stretch of Langkawi.

Life in a hammock, simple and uncomplicated.  Quite tempting.  I think I could do it, one day …  just not yet…


Christmas. Made In China.


Christmas sneaked up on me, like the eerie whisper of a soundless ghost.  Whilst I was following doctor’s orders and for a whole week only moved between bed and bathroom, and the following week manoeuvred between flat and school on crutches and using taxis, Wal-Mart shot into action.  The special offers which usually blocked the entrance to the store were shelved to make room for all things Christmas: Christmas trees and Christmas decorations, Santa hats and Christmas headbands, and cute, adorable Christmas cuddly toys.  In a country where the religious meaning of Christmas is taboo, Christmas – although still small scale – is as commercial as it comes… But then again, are not ‘all things Christmas’ made in China anyway…?


Almost overnight Christmas trees had sprouted in prominent places and festive lighting along the streets filled Hangzhou with Christmas warmth.  The downtown bakeries offered Christmas inspired cakes, gingerbread houses and other Christmas goodies; Starbucks added a ‘Christmas Turkey Sandwich’ to the menu.  And Hangzhou opened its First International Christmas Market…  It was distinctly beginning to look a lot  like Christmas, in Europe…

This year I decided to enjoy Christmas, to rediscover some of the fun, the merriment that Christmas used to bring.  A tour de force, I knew…  As if positive thinking and wishing would be enough to disperse the dark, ominous clouds permanently lingering on the periphery of my existence.  I even fleetingly considered investing in a Christmas tree, to jolly up my pretty bare flat, but as I would most definitely NOT be spending Christmas Day at home, it seemed an extravagance too far… On the other hand, buying a selection of Christmas headbands to wear in my lessons in the week running up to Christmas sounded an excellent idea.  I would devote my energy on spreading Christmas cheer at school. Within the confines of China’s sentiment about religious festivals, of course, so no mention of the real message of Christmas, peace on earth and for all mankind.


We watched Christmas videos explaining  British Christmas customs: advent calendars with opening doors revealing stars and presents and other Christmas materialistic goodies; writing Christmas cards and letters to Santa; baking and eating mince pies; hanging Christmas stockings on the mantle piece ready for Santa and a traditional Christmas lunch including Christmas crackers which were probably made in China… We crafted reindeer hats in the English Club, and turned the Gingerbread Man tale (still Christmassy because it is the only time of the year anyone bothers to bake gingerbread biscuits) into a deliciously alternative play full of Grandmas and Mr Tigers and Mr Crocodiles and classrooms brimming with excited and smiley Gingerbread men!! Instead of subjecting the kids to a tame version of ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’, I taught them a super energetic Christmas song that had the whole class rocking and dancing (including me, which goes without saying.  Fun was an excellent anaesthetic for my knee…) to the jingles of my glittery Christmas hair band and frowns from the Head of English (who happens to be my assistant in some lessons..).  Let’s liven up the joint, it’s Christmas after all.  A time to be jolly, a time to have fun!!!!



This just left me to cope with the dreaded ‘day’.  Did I want to party with the 25-year-old somethings, hanging out in bars and getting merry?  Or spend a fortune on overpriced food in the venues in town that were opening their doors to the Christmas cheer?  Maybe someone would throw an impromptu last minute Champagne breakfast, followed by turkey and the works??  Some people only get their act together within a whisker of running out of time, I hoped…

In the end salvation came in the form of an Italian chef in Shanghai who offered to cook me dinner on Christmas Eve and lunch on Christmas Day…  So I booked myself into a snazzy hotel in central Shanghai and on arrival found myself being upgraded to an executive suite!!!  An unexpected Christmas gift I was not going to deny myself.  After months of sleeping on a hard Chinese bed, I had simply forgotten the sheer pleasure of sinking into the opulence of a soft mattress and pillows, and the crisp white linen of top-rated Western hotels.  Christmas was definitely turning out to be a visit to the lap of luxury…

But even the best laid plans do not always come to fruition and my very efforts to avoid spending Christmas Day on my own were badly thwarted.  Christmas Eve dinner was spectacular in its simplicity: pasta cooked as only the Italians can, followed by delectable Italian biscotti (or cantuccini) dunked and soaked in our glasses of wine and a finale of Limoncello… Having been seduced by the pleasures of his Italian cooking, I was not surprised that my Italian chef’s culinary skills were in demand on Christmas Day after all.  With just one day’s notice, the chef had been asked to conjure up a Christmas lunch and dinner for 100 guests by a rather influential figure in Shanghai…  And if you want to do well in China, some requests are declined at your own peril..

So instead of enjoying a private Christmas lunch for two, I enjoyed the peace and tranquillity of my hotel room and indulged in the bliss of writing..  And after checking out, I simply moved location and joined the Starbucks army of Christmas singletons.  In a coffee shop full of people, with each and every one of them lost to their own mobile world, I would be guaranteed to have virtual silence and  no interruptions…  Perfect for letting the creative juices flow…

It was a peaceful Christmas after all.



Riding The Gravy Train of Tourism: taxi drivers in Thailand

DSCN2772I chose the island of Phuket, not because I had read rave reviews about it, or had been wooed by its exquisite beauty …   In fact, I did not even look at a single travel brochure or webpage.  Rumour had it in China, amongst us foreign teachers, that Thailand was an ideal summer destination to while away the weeks of no work and no income.  Thailand was definitely cheaper, sunnier, freer …  and less polluted than China.  A breath of fresh air for suffocating lungs…

When asking Jack, a Thai national of Indian descent, which island he recommended, he definitely suggested Phuket.  J., an Australian sailing fanatic, who recently had to cancel a trip to Thailand due to work commitments, also spoke fondly of Phuket.  ‘But,’ he added, ‘it has changed and is no longer the paradise it used to be.  Still affordable, but no longer the backpackers’ nirwana of cheap and cheerful.’  With this advice in mind, I opted for Phuket, no further research required.  I booked my ticket, arranged hotels that looked reasonable and was ready to explore and experience…  with the advantage of having some insider information..

My first taxi journey from the airport to the hotel  in Bangkok was definitely made smoother through knowing how much I should expect to pay.  Although the initial quote was not exorbitant, I paid about 25% less after demanding a metered ride into town.  Once in Bangkok, I almost avoided taxis altogether as I made liberal use of the city’s excellent public transport system encompassing metro, sky train, river taxis and express boats connecting shopping centres and the touristy and historical sites.  I was impressed by the politeness of the Thai people, queuing patiently.  No mad scramble to be the first to board the train, even before people have had a chance to get off, as in China.  No need to elbow your way in through the narrow doors of buses and trains, disregarding passengers trying to disembark, as in India.  On the one occasion I used a motorcycle taxi, an orderly line was formed, which no one tried to breach…  And the courtesy even extended to people giving up their seats on the trains for the elderly, or the young or actually anyone who might need to sit down.  Not something I often witnessed in India or China..


And then I arrived in Phuket…  As the hotel blurb gave ample indication of the expected taxi fares from the airport, my metered taxi was spot on and actually turned out a little more economical,  but not cheap though…  I enjoyed my first couple of days sauntering between my hotel and the beach, taking in the sights and smells of Thai food with a Russian twist.  Fully anticipating English to be Phuket’s second language, I was amazed to find the unmistakable signs of a strong Russian presence on the island as many restaurants printed the names of dishes in Thai and Russian before adding the English touch.  And as for trying to ban the burkini on the Phuket beaches and tourist boats to the surrounding islands???  Surely, the Thai people would not want to antagonise the many Arab visitors who flock to their shores and tourist attractions..  And if I came to Thailand to have a break from the Chinese… they apparently also swarm in their droves to Thailand…


After a few days of local sea and sand therapy and calling in on Leonardo Di Caprio’s beach by speedboat, I decided to check out the ‘viewpoint’, a hill crest overlooking the three beaches near my hotel.  A glance at the map suggested a distance of just over 1.5 miles.  Before setting off, I enquired at the hotel reception about the cost of a taxi…  I balked at paying £14 (to the viewpoint and back) for a distance of barely  5km which I could easily walk, even the steep parts.  Map reading is not my forte, especially when it comes to interpreting scale, but the island of Phuket only has a few roads, so I felt pretty confident of my course of action.  To ensure I did not  add unnecessary miles to my hike – it was very hot that day – I consulted several taxi drivers on my way up…  ‘You can’t walk that far.  It is at least 7 km.  It will take you an hour to reach the viewpoint,’ they warned, smirking and shaking their head at the mere thought.  Really??  I showed them the map, pointing to the scale… But as they were unwilling to adjust their price to take into account I had already covered some tarmac or even admit their price was way too high in the first place, I stubbornly kept on following the trail of motorcycle tourists who were clearly heading in the same direction..   I admired the sights along the coast and arrived at the viewpoint in good time and glad I had not been fooled into an expensive taxi ride up the hill…

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Two days later, I intended to explore Patong Beach, a very touristy stretch of coast, full of bars and restaurants and night ravers and famed for its ladyboys’ show…  But a ride to Patong Beach and back would cost me 900 Baht, the receptionist at my hotel and the local tour operators insisted..or £21 for a 20 minute trip..  And that was even before I paid for the show, or had a drink and food somewhere..  Travelling solo can be expensive, unless of course I embrace the freedom of two wheels and get to grips with riding a motorcycle…

On the other hand, the advantage of being a single traveller is you don’t travel on your own for long and handy tips are passed down from other travellers: a shared taxi to and from the airport saves you two thirds of the cost; hiring a taxi for half a day to tour the island is more cost effective than paying for single trips to touristy destinations; you find out what discounts other people manage to negotiate to visit Phi Phi and James Bond island ; hiring a motorbike for a week only costs 1000 Baht…

But as long as the rich Arabs, Chinese and Russians are all too willing to pull out their wallets to show off their cash, the taxi drivers and tour organisers will be all too happy to carry on riding the gravy train of tourism.  What did Jack call the non-Russian white tourists of today???  Cheapskates!!  ‘And,’  he carried on, ‘ tourists always end up paying a little more than locals…’  Maybe he is right, but even he agreed that  900 Baht for a return trip to Patong Beach was going a bit too far…

Hold on to your high heels and strapless bras!

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Last May, when I was in the midst of making sweeping decisions about my future needs, maintaining  my wardrobe was definitely not high on the list of priorities.   I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to preserve:   snorkelling goggles (tick); walking gear including Leki poles, boots, socks, drybags and backpack (tick); swim wear (I even bought a brand new, expensive swimsuit before setting off again to India…) (tick); running and gym paraphernalia (tick);  and just a handful of t-shirts, a couple of pairs of jeans (which still fitted) and a few skirts I was particularly fond of.  What else does a girl need?

Glam rags never cluttered my wardrobe, and of the few I possessed all bar two were donated to the local charity shops.  Strapless bras would be a thing of the past and totally pointless in my new world.  And high heeled shoes?  The dangers of the classroom and children swinging on chairs put paid to that a long time ago… Only flats for me these days!  I sold the Russell & Bromley smart heels that were gathering dust in the cupboard; and the precious, glitzy, diamante-studded sandals I took to India, just in case?  They lost in the competition for space in my suitcase on the way back to the UK, so are probably being put to good use somewhere on the dusty roads of Kerala.  When would the opportunity to wear them present itself anyway, I surmised..  Had I not argued that if I was ever going to be so lucky again to wear glamorous clothes, I would probably be in a position to buy new ones…?

With the family Christmas decided upon weeks ahead, New Year’s Eve was yet another hurdle to be overcome.  But I had been proactive and put out feelers with my ‘45nSingle’ friends in the Cheltenham area to see if anyone could be persuaded to host a pyjama party, or at least something with a sleepover at the end.  Surely, I was not going to be the only one out on a limb…  Although there is plenty of liberty with the 45-notion, the ‘single’ part of the deal is more strictly adhered to and surely there had to be other singletons in need of NYE entertainment!  And yes, a few days after arriving back in the UK, the news on the grapevine sounded promising with a party in the offing,  themed ‘Casino Royale’ with a dress code to match.

Wardrobe disaster, I thought!!  The two black dresses that survived last year’s cull were kept for memory’s sake and were not exactly a perfect fit for the slimmer me, but I figured that with a strapless bra I could just about get away with wearing one of them.  If only I had kept my strapless bra, because it is not exactly the thing you go and borrow as it needs to be the right size and shape…  And shoes?  Flats would have to do!  Maybe not the desired look, but at least my feet would spend New Year’s Eve in comfort.

I pondered about my options for several days.  Christmas intervened and took my mind of things, and in no time the year end was upon us.  On my way to the party I ventured into Cheltenham, as planned, to at least buy a pair of sheer nearly-black tights and maybe pick up some not-so-flat black shoes to complement my evening outfit, and indeed, as suggested by my son’s girlfriend, to inspect the bra offerings in Primark.  I will never again scoff at Primark, nor look down upon what can be found in the sales section of M&S…   A perfectly fitting pair of heels for just a tenner in M&S? I had to double check it indeed meant for the pair, and not just £10 for each shoe.  OK, so they were purple, not the more conventional black, but why care about tradition and aren’t rules meant to be broken?  Who would notice anyway after a few glasses of bubbly??  And a bra for just £4.00??  It felt like I was on a winning streak…  With the addition of  a bit of foundation, blusher, eye-shadow and a squirt of Hugo Boss Nuit Pour Femme, I was ready to party into the new year.

On a winning streak playing poker...

On a winning streak playing poker…

There mine, all mine... Why didn't we play for money???

They’re mine, all mine… Why didn’t we play for money???

And obviously, my lucky finds in the shops were just a sign of my fortunes to come.  I cannot profess to be particularly adept at the art of lying with a straight face, nor dismiss the element of chance,  but somehow  our game of Texan ‘Hold ‘Em’ poker  deservedly ended with all the chips in a big pile in front of me…

Maybe wearing a strapless bra and a pair of high heels more often, coupled with an Indian belief in the power of Karma could just be the ticket for me in 2016…   Let’s bring it on!!!

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