Who would have known

15 months ago, we had no clue we would end up doing house sits in Singapore and Sri Lanka this year. Well, probably nobody knew or imagined that back then.
But, it’s happened and for that we are forever grateful. So many possibilities opening up, people we get to meet and learn from, houses, animals, foods and cultures we never had thought of experiencing.

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Excited Jazzie

This is true though for most parts of life: little is predictable and there’s always change, no matter how much we hope to control or plan – there’s always change. Not saying plans are bad or unneccesary, just that they, and we, need to be flexible and adjust to whatever comes our way.

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Extended visa

When flying to Sri Lanka four weeks ago we had no clue we would fall in love with this country and be so happy about having extended our visas for another two months.
That a thought I spent some time on yesterday was when we leave here in April, when will we be able to come back again?! How many months will we be away from Sri Lanka until next time?

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A6, our waiting number at the Immigration office

With that thought in mind, I started smiling – how can one miss a place when still being there, and what do I know about what is to come in the following months? The thinking/feeling might be totally different then, so why spend time worrying over it now?

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Daisy says 'smile and be happy'

Anyways: Little do we know.
How can we live in that understanding today? (that we basically don’t know squat).

Let’s go explore what happens when knowing we don’t know!

Love and joy,
Wivan

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Travel: Sri Lanka

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Airport time in Singapore

Arrived in Sri Lanka and Negombo, our first stop on this island we look forward to spend the coming month on.

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Listening to music

So, after some delay on the way to Kuala Lumpur, we rushed through two (!) security controls and didn’t even have time to get either water or snacks for the flight. And they only took cash on the plane, which we didn’t have…

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Midnight snack

So, luckily we were able to buy something from a tiny shop next to the place we stay at. Simple, good and a fun little midnight snack on the room.

We’re here, and look forward to tomorrow. Sri Lanka!

Re-charging in Singapore

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Pond in Botanic garden

After almost four weeks in this city, we’re ready to walk barefoot on a beach again soon.
Earlier this week we’ve had some great nature experiences in or close to the city.

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Flowers

The Botanic garden was such a positive surprise, close to the city center and still a wonderful oasis to discover and get some real nature feeling.

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We loved watching the fishes

Ponds, a small rainforest, fish, birds and paths for walking and accesable for wheel chairs and strollers.

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The orchid Vanda Miss Joaquin

We found a few flowers in this huge plantation of Singapore’s national flower, a type of orchid.

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National flower, Vanda Miss Joaquin

Another fun surprise were the turtles!

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Mister Turtle in the Swan pond

All of this is free and everything is so well kept.

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A tree as old as we are

There are several different parts of the garden and this time we skipped the orchid garden because of the heat in the middle of the day.

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Rainforest walk

But we did stroll through the rainforest and were amazed by the huge trees.

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Enjoyed this afternoon very much

Yesterday Wivan and our friend Miss C took a 10 K walk in the MacRitchie Reservoir in the morning, together with lots of other people. It was warm, sunny and nice. And again, a great dose of green leaves and water to recharge the batteries after lots of city life.

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Monkey on the trail in MacRitchie

We saw many, many monkeys along the paths.

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Small and curious

Later today we’re heading out to the airport, and then fly via Kuala Lumpur  to Colombo in Sri Lanka.

Looking forward to waking up close to the beach tomorrow morning!

//Anders and Wivan

Flexible body, flexible mind?

Vanda Scaravelli

Vanda Scaravelli

Don’t know if it’s true, that a flexible mind and a flexible body are connected. But I do know that life changes constantly, as does our thinking.

My yoga teacher Daniel, with whom I practiced yoga for several years in Malmö, used to say that your mind becomes more flexible if the body is flexible. At the same time his teaching never was about becoming as flexible as possible in the body, rather to tune in to what felt right, what our needs were at the moment and to challenge ourselves from the place we were – not comparing with each other or him.

It is not so much the performance of the exercises that matters, but rather the way we are doing them.

– Vanda Scaravelli –

Anyways, over the past three days I’ve been doing so much stretching and yoga I myself am surprised! It’s like my private little retreat and all other type of movement and exercise disappeared from one day to the other. Now it’s been long, slow, deep yoga postures and it feels very different. A shift in thinking and being is also here. Curious, this life!

Sometimes Bronson join me on the mat

Sometimes Bronson join me on the mat

In what direction is your life shifting? Did you notice anything different?

// Wivan

There’s always something happening in a city

Cars driving, people talking, traffic lights.

Chinese New Year decoration

Chinese New Year decoration

A dog on the sidewalk, kids playing, the sound of a bouncing tennis ball.

Clear directions

Clear directions

Coffee takeaway, a bicycle passing, the smell of cooking food.

Great World City Mall

Great World City Mall

A door that opens, a huge shopping mall covering the entire sight, umbrellas in the hands of walking people.

Robertson Quay walking bridge

Robertson Quay walking bridge

High heels, sport shoes, balloons and music.

Shopping district

Shopping district

Jogging, the smell of fresh bread, grown ups riding kick boards.

Central Expressway

Central Expressway

A honking horn, concrete, falling rain.

People, people, people

People, people, people

Lush green leafs, water, boats.

Fullerton Road

Fullerton Road

Cellphones, buses, birds.

Rooftop installation

Rooftop installation

Commercial, toilets, plastic bags.

Clear directions

Clear directions

Smells, noises, views, sensations and tastes.

Backpacker in Kampong Glam

Backpacker in Kampong Glam

Big and small, high and low, loud and quiet. Dark and light, new and old.

Construction site

Construction site

Friends, family, love, fear, workdays, parties.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Religion, morning walks, babies learning to talk.

Little India clean out

Little India clean out

Schools, maps, songs, tears, laughter, discussions, negotiations, movies, pictures, lyrics, paint, windows, walls, buildings, parks, streets, joy, depression, anger, holidays, practice and perfection.

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

There’s always something going on in a city.

Happy 2016

Hi,

Just wanted to check in and say ‘hi’, wishing you a great start of 2016 and hope you’re doing well.

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Breakfast 1st of January

We’re still doing our cat sit in Singapore and have one week left. In the past few days we’ve been doing a bit of touring, we’ve celebrated a quiet New Year’s Eve in the apartment, and started this new year with quite a bit of rain in this shopping-obsessed city.

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By the Singapore river

In a week’s time we’re leaving to get some more beach life, and this time we’re trying out Sri Lanka for the first time in our lives! What we’ve heard is that there’s some really good diving and surfing there, and of course we want to see some of the tea plants, and the cultural history. But mostly we look forward to sunshine and chillaxin’.

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Bronson the cat, chillaxin'

Ok, we’ll be back again soon. Take care and have fun!

// Wivan and Anders

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Board games on New Years Eve

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View from Marina Bay Sands 57th floor

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Posing in Gardens by the bay

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Cartoon café

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