Sunday, May 02, 2010


work is starting soon. going to go one day earlier to make sure things handover smoothly. how surreal is it that i get to say work instead of school.

grad trip to africa with 6 people i was not so close with turned out to be the best travelling experience ever, and now i have 6 good friends :)

here's my usual 10-things-i've-learnt-during-my-holiday shpeel:

1. corruption is abound, 20 bucks to bribe a police man to write us a lost items statement when wx lost his phone on the bus
2. sunsets, with no buildings to interrupt your line of vision, are heavenly. serengeti (meaning endless plains) lives up to its name, with clouds stretching as far as the eye can see, with all the shades of grey and silver possibly known to mankind.

3. animal sightings are fun, only for a maximum of 4 or 5 days. and that's if you're as lucky as i am; i got to see "the big 5" of african safari animals :) and lions mating - the stuff of natgeo documentaries!

4. if your mosquito net has holes in it, you might as well not use it. (i was going to take a photograph of it but i was too itchy to take out my camera so here are some elephants instead :)
5. falling asleep on a window seat in the bus/safari jeep will most often lead to a sunburn on that side of your body. in africa, sunblock up! btw fyi they buy 2nd hand cars from countries like singapore - check out the comfort cab we spied in zanzibar, where they didn't even bother to paint over the old adverts on the side (call 6552 1111!)
6. floating around in the indian ocean will most often lead to a sunburn on the backhalf of your body. that said, snorkelling in zanzibar is AMAZING. visibility of ~10-20m? AND DOLPHINS!!!! (okay, no photos because we were in the water for the visually stunning stuff and had no underwater cameras) oh, and zanzibar i will always remember for being the place we got our results, at 4am no less, and started a screaming/shouting fest in our bungalow by the sea :) hurray!

7. walking upslope to an elevation of 5000metres above sea level brings you closer to the sun, and will most often lead to a sunburn where you do not cover your face with sunblock/a ski mask. when summiting, ensure adequate protection!

8. please train before climbing a mountain, especially if it's the tallest peak in africa. mount kilimanjaro was physically demanding only because of our lack of fitness and the ever unpredictable altitude sickness. and also, retching is as miserable as puking.

9. sometimes it's the walking downhill that is more disastrous than walking uphill. for proof of that, i have bilateral subungal hematomas that turned from red to purple to blue to TOXIC GREEN.

10. appreciate, and use, clean toilets (especially those located above the level of the clouds with superb views albeit nasty smells!), drinkable water, and a roof over your head, as often as you can, whenever you can. just in case you don't get a chance to use them again for a long long time.

that's all for now, time to rest and enjoy my last few hours of freedom. glad to have had this chance to recharge and super happy to have such nice (for now) employers! :D

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