Kampong Glam and Little India

Those colorful and market-inspired areas. With tasteful food from India and the Middle East.

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Sidewalk in Little India

You get on the metro from the modern, business busy central parts of the city…

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Clarke Quay

… and you get off close to a hawker center with prata-bread and curry to die for.

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Mutton curry and daal + garlic prata

We had a nice trip to these areas of Singapore the other day.

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Pretty shop houses

Here you can find saris, get your Indian spices freshly mixed, listen to your favorite Bollywood music and buy the movies, buy fresh fruits and vegetables, eat real Indian food and get lost over and over in a rather small area.

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Did we say getting lost? We were.

It’s certainly different from the stylish modern buildings in our area of town.

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Arab street

And then, a walk in the heat of the day, and you reach Arab street and the Kampong Glam area.

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My favorite street, Haji Lane

I had gotten my eyes on Haji Lane via Instagtam. With lots of colorful pictures and inspiring cafés, I couldn’t wait to see it.

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Haji Lane

It’s become one of those streets that’s rather part of a movement than being just a street. Where it feels modern, yet the houses are old, the hipsters and Instagrammers love it with the colors and little different shops.

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Beautiful street art in Kampong Glam

It’s a great area for taking pictures, and you will see people snapping photos everywhere.

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Anders determined to sit down and have a coffee

So, the Middle Eastern part of Kampong Glam, or the area of Arab street and Haji Lane? It’s there too. Maybe not exactly on those two streets, but in the area.

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Tailor made clothes

Carpets, scarfs, hand made silk clothes and more.
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What started as a living and shopping area for people from the same part of the world, has become a modern picture and coffee favorite. Kampong Glam certainly is a lot different from what we saw in Cairo and Istanbul last winter, but we recognize some things and the sense is there. And of course the food. It’s always a lot about the food in Singapore.

Kampong Glam reminds me of Södermalm in Stockholm, or some of the streets in Malmö in southern Sweden. Going back here another time? Certainly!

// Wivan

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The luxury of locals

In Egypt last December we had a very clear example of what good connections with locals can do for us as foreigners and travellers in a new place. We got to have an amazing experience of the pyramids thanks to our very nice taxi driver Hassan who did as much as he ever could for us to have a good time.

Anders, Hassan and Wivan

Anders, Hassan and Wivan

And in France we’ve been invited to many dinners, lunches, excursions and trips to markets thanks to newly found friends who’ve taken great care of us.

Here in the Azores we get lots and lots of help from a neighbor. We get to use her car, so we can make small trips, go to the store or whatever. The other day we borrowed her scooter for a little drive in the sunshine. She comes over to ask if everything is ok, if we need anything or if she can help in any way and it’s very nice and comforting. We’ve also gotten maps of the island and been invited to volleyball practice with her, to come and listen and see her and her group practice folklore music and dancing.

Sightseeing in Flores thanks to our neighbor

Sightseeing in Flores thanks to our neighbor

Folk music and dancing practice in Lajes das Flores

Folk music and dancing practice in Lajes das Flores

Since the island of Flores has less than 4000 inhabitants, it’s very clear who is a local and who is not… most people know each other, at least in each village. So, we are trying our best to say hello and thanks in Portuguese and just see what we see and whom we will meet when we’re out. What we have learned this far, after travelling Europe for about six months, is that you can never predict what opportunity awaits around the corner, and to have some locals to help out or just show the way is very nice.

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Scooter ride in the sun - awfully cold wind on the top of the hill

In the store the other day we met a French guy who we spoke to for a little bit. And guess what?! After our encounter with the Frenchman, he’s now invited us for dinner with his family and our neighbor! We hope to schedule that soon.

// Anders and Wivan, hoping to make some new friends in Flores

To play in a new kitchen

Since three days back, we now “live” in the island of Flores, in the western part of the Azores that belongs to Portugal. We’ve slowly started to explore it by foot and by car. Mostly by foot, since we now have a new dog to take care of, Lucky. House- and dog sitting at its best: in a beautiful location, with lots of places to walk on and discover, and in a nice house that is comfortable.

Lucky and Anders on yesterday's hike on the western part of the island

Lucky and Anders on yesterday’s hike on the western part of the island

So, when cooking last night’s dinner (it was an easy one: toasts in the oven + cabbage salad), and washing up afterwards, Wivan realized that this is the… seventh house we live in during the past five months. We blogged about always being someplace new a few months ago, but this was a new fun way of seeing our situation.

The possibilities have been different in every place we’ve stayed. For example, in France where we’ve stayed the longest time the houses really have their own characteristics and plus and minuses to them.

Anders and Lucky in front of the house

Anders and Lucky in front of the house

This house we’re now staying in is very modern in comparison to the French country houses, and yet there’s no dish washer. But: we have a kitchen fan, which we haven’t had in the last three places. We’re fine with washing by hand and to us, by now, it’s almost like a game to see the new places in an exploring way; to enjoy the things we haven’t had before, or to really appreciate places we’ve been to.

Washing up after dinner

Washing up after dinner

Here, living on a small island far out in the Atlantic, it was quite damp when we arrived, and a bit chilly inside the house. All of a sudden we remembered our own house in Sweden, the one we sold last November, really was a warm and dry house. So if not earlier, now we know more to appreciate that part of the living situation we had then.

Where we used to live, outside of Höör in Sweden

Where we used to live, outside of Höör in Sweden

The conclusion is this; By seeing more places, trying other people’s lifestyles and experiencing new or unknown ways of spending our days, we get a larger perspective and a broader view of things. Like kitchens. This very kitchen shows us that it works perfectly fine to just have two large pots – no small ones, and no frying pan. So, we practice to see the fun in finding new ways of doing things, of cooking, cleaning or doing laundry. And how to live our lives.

Discovering, playing, experiencing in Flores

Discovering, playing, experiencing in Flores


That’s also very helpful when being used to having certain things in the stores or surroundings, that are not available in a new location. How do you play with things that are different to you? What new ways of behaving or reacting are possible?

// Anders and Wivan

Moving on

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Packing, cleaning our room and washing the bed linens

Today is travel day for the two of us. We’re flying out from Cairo to Istanbul tonight and have decided to stay in a hotel for six nights before flying back to Toulouse in France and our next house sit.

We’ve never been to Turkey and have heard so many good things about Istanbul, so we have payed a bit extra to change our tickets and prolong the layover in Istanbul. It’s fairly cheap to stay in a hotel there at this time of year. And even though it might be a bit cold and rainy, there’s lots to see and explore, we’re planning on going to a hamam (Turkish bath), eat out, enjoy hotel breakfasts, go to the gym, visit the great bazaar, some of the mosques and hopefully find someone local to take us to some of the non-tourist places. We’ll see! Whatever happens is good.

See you around!
//Anders and Wivan

The new New

Suddenly in Cairo, Egypt. Suddenly in a new environment, new (to us) culture. Suddenly, and again, in a new setting of people, new aquantencies, new subjects of discussion and again a new home, a new pet, almost everything totally new to us and yet still at home, still together, still at peace.

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Sunshine and blue sky

Sitting in bed at night, trying to grasp all that has happened the last 36 hours; flights, friends, airports, hotel, sleep, staying awake, new people, new places, new bed and… It’s so much to take in, much to learn and catch, many, many things. Inspiring, tiring, scaring, laughing, leaning, listening, seeing, hearing, waring, eating.

It’s all ours. It’s all us. It’s all here. It’s all now.

We know nothing about next. Nothing about tomorrow. Noting about later. It’s all here. It’s all now, new.

The New New

Suddenly in Cairo, Egypt. Suddenly in a new environment, new (to us) culture. Suddenly, and again, in a new setting of people, new aquantencies, new subjects of discussion and again a new home, a new pet, almost everything totally new to us and yet still at home, still together, still at peace.

Sitting in bed at night, trying to grasp all that has happened the last 36 hours; flights, friends, airports, hotel, sleep, staying awake, new people, new places, new bed and… It’s so much to take in, much to learn and catch, many, many things. Inspiring, tiring, scaring, laughing, leaning, listening, seeing, hearing, waring, eating.

It’s all ours. It’s all us. It’s all here. It’s all now.

We know nothing about next. Nothing about tomorrow. Noting about later. It’s all here. It’s all now, new.