My Beautiful Day at the Beauty Parlour in Bangladesh

Beautiful Bangladesh is the Tourism Boards phrase at the moment and they certainly delivered – not only with their lovely country but also in making me feel beautiful with a relazing day at the beauty parlour.

 

 

These women really know how to pamper you. 3 hours worth of beauty treatments and I felt like a goddess!!

Starting with a 1 hour full body massage using beautiful oils smelling of rich jasmine and camomile. Spices are added to the hot oil in order to heat the skin when it is rubbed in and relax the muscles. My thoughts wandered to beautiful places and took me on a journey of many of the incredible places I’ve visited over the past few years.

Having my feet washed in rose petals and lime water before the massage

Following this relaxing treatment was the facial. Most facials have you sitting in a chair or laying a bed and your body is covered so only the neck and face are given the luxurious care. Not with this one they didn’t! Two ladies were in there with me for the 1.5 hour treatment. I had my arms, legs , shoulders and back cleansed, exfoliated, cleansed again and moisturised. It was amazing. I didn’t realise they could do so man creative things to cleanse my skin. Finishing with some relaxin music and a cold pureed cucumber mask – I left smelling like a  fruit and vegetable market and with skin shimmering like a pearl.

Relaxed and Fresh after Treatment no.2

Before I went on to my final beauty session, I was given a refreshing glass of mango juice and some locally made white chocolate chip biscuits. Such care is taken to make your experience truly relaxing and hospitable.

Yummy snack to keep my energy levels up for the next relaxation session

I then floated into the manicure and pedicure room. Again, I had 2 wonderful ladies with me the whole time. One for hands and one for feet. They took great care in dealing with my not so pretty feet and my very worn hands. My arms and legs were again cleansed, exfoliated and moisturised. My skin has never seen such ttention and care- it’s going to go into shock when it gets back to cold Melbourne. I chose a gorgeous burnt orange to go with my outfit for the day and I felt pretty as a picture.

 

 

This was the perfect thing to end my amazing trip to Bangladesh and really highlight the skills of the people there, the kindness and warmth in their hearts, and the effort and pride they take in making people feel welcome and well served. I was so happy with everyone there and wish I could go every week.

The Beauty Parlour is called Persona, and they can be found in a number of locations in Bangladesh.

http://www.persona.com.bd/

I went to the Gulshan location and highly recommend it. Good area for shopping as well!

Conquering the Adventure Clothing Stores

I feel by the time I go on my mountain Climb in September, I shall have conquered the Adventure Store shopping expedition.

I will share with you soon my packing list…. It’s 2 pages and man are there a lot of things. I don’t know how I’m going to only have 15 kg!! There is too much stuff.

Gaitors? What the?

Apaprently they are like shin guard/ pant covers- they cost $100 and really… I see no point in them. I can put up with some dirt on my trousers if it means saving that much money.

The list actually intimidated me and made me feel really unprepared- which would have a grain of truth to it, but seriously, I gotta get myself ready.

My friend came with me and helped me to tick off the things I had on my list – that was about 3 out of 75… ooooh no! We tried on Boots at Paddy Pallin but I wasn;t really feeling it. Plus the extortionate process started to really irritate me.

We went to Kathmandu next, and with 60% off for the EOFYS sale made me feel more positive about the shopping experience and my bank account. I liked the boots better here but really need to try more on and get a better feel for it. I don’t know what I’m really looking for – It’s rather frustrating.

I tried on a few backpacks and questioned the need for a 35L backpack. They’re actually massive!! I really don’t think that’s necessary. I’m gonna buy the things I feel suit me more- I think this whole over prepared thing is a bit unnecessary.

I then bought my camel pack, which I’ve long desired, a polar fleece ($50 reduced from $130- score!) and a microfiber towel. I felt a bit better now that I had a few items. But many more shopping trips are needed. A discussion with mumma at home also proved to be fruitful as she has quite a few items I’m going to be needing for the trip including bed matt, and my windproof jacket!

This mountain climb is proving to be a challenge in so many ways.

I’m doing this climb for the benefit of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW:

To sponsor, click here

Sad Lion in the Bangladesh Zoo

I was warned many times before I went to the Bangladesh Zoo that it was not much to see and nothing special. I was also told the animals were not well taken care of and that they were perhaps underfed.

I didn’t expect to see some of the saddest animals in the world. They had sad eyes. This Lion was moaning and crying. A deep roaring cry out for help. His partner in the cage was also crying out as he did.

This Zoo needs some serious work and some serious reconsideration. It is not up to standard and it’s not good enough. It sets a bad example for any person who comes to view the zoo and for young people to see animals treated in this way.

Bangladesh is doing so well in so many ways, having a place like this is really letting them down.

Thinking of you Sad Lion 😦

More Media for Climb2Remember

So excited to be having some more media attention for my climb2remember challenge in September this year.

 

I sent out a press release recently to some Melbourne Media.

 

We got some space on the Femail website:

http://www.femail.com.au/whats-on-charities-fundraisers-sporting.htm

And also a spot on Mia Cares on Mamamia website:

http://www.mamamia.com.au/mamamia-cares/climbing-kilimanjaro-for-alzheimers-australia-nsw/

 

Every little bit counts and I really appreciate peoples support. The whole reason that I’m doing my fundraising, promoting and the climb actually is to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW. It’s important for us to take on this part of the challenge and spread the word about this great charity.

 

If you would like to sponsor or learn more about the Climb2Remember, visit my sponsor page.

Commanding Respect

Something I love in South Asia, though I know it can be seen as bad and wrong in some circles, is the commanding of respect.

 

A boss can walk into his office and his staff of 20 will stand immediately. Whilst he walks about with his guests or colleague, they will remain standing. This kind of respect for authority and position is lost in the western world.

 

Some may question why they deserve such respect and what they do in order to earn it, but others believe that there is no need to question it- they are the boss, they have the title, they have the right to respect.

 

I truly enjoyed watching the businessman who was chairing the organizing committee for the meeting I was attending in Bangladesh, walk down the hall with 10 of his staff in tow. Everywhere we went we had an entourage and the moment we realized we needed something, someone would run to collect it or complete the task. It’s incredible the dedication, or perhaps subordanance to their roles these people have. I feel it something to be admired that they whole heartedly commit to the task, and you see it when they complete it with such efficiency.

 

 

Things did take quite a while to get going with the meeting for Dhaka. A lot of bureaucracy a lot fo channels and ums and ahs, but once it came down to the point of getting things done, they are on it. They have pulled together a meeting with the most spectacular amount of details covered, in such a short time.

 

It’s an incredible thing to see before your eyes- adherance to an order and a job that has been set out. This is why I love this part of the world. And it still amazes me everytime.

Sweet Singapore Stopover

Singapore has to be one of the top Transit airports in the world. I feel like I’m popping in and out of this place on a monthly basis, well maybe bi-annually, but regularly for sure! And it’s a great airport to be in.

 

The Singapore Changi Airport has everything the traveler can ask for. Good signage, well laid out, English and international signs, helpful information desks and service people wherever you go. A good range of food places and bars to keep you all snacked up and lots of the yummy Singapore delicacies that you always look forward to – mmm noodles and iced tea.

 

The Experience Zone

 

The shopping here is also fantastic. You definitely don’t have to go all the way to the centre of the city. The big brands are all in here and there are some awesome deals on the Duty Free. I’m definitely hanging out to buy any liquor and perfume here. The prices are the same if not cheaper than Australian dollar, and the exchange rate $SD 1.28 = $AD 1 at the moment. Bargains. $AD 33 for a bottle of Absolut Vodka and Grants Scotch! Amazing.

 

 

I’m sitting here enjoying this view of the forest and the Singapore Airlines planes waiting for me in the distance, with a lovely blue sky and interesting clouds.

 

 

That sweet, sticky and aromatic smell of Asia brings back lovely memories and familiar feelings as I walk off the plane. However you also get slapped in the face with the humidity. The warmth and tropical air in the airport is probably the only thing I really wish to complain about. But when you come across a topical rainforest in the middle of the airport, you don’t mind so much.

 

 

For more information on Changi Airport, click here.

 

People come into your life for a Reason, Season or a Lifetime

People come into your life for a Reason, Season or a Lifetime 

 

This phrase rings so true for me in so many situations in my life. It’s sometimes hard to let go of a relationship, or a time. Some thins we wish could last last forever, but they are not always meant to, and learning to accept this can bring us peace.

Cocoa Cay Bahamas 2011

 

I love the reason people and that’s what I want to focus on here. There are people who come into our lives for a moment, a conversation, to pass on a message or to help us through a day. Generally we don’t keep these people in our lives for long and they are there to help us on to the next stage or the next moment.

 

I love chance meetings and that intense time of feeling a closeness to a stranger. I was on a plane the other day and I sat with a man who I’d never seen before, never spoken to, and we talked deeply and philosphpically about life for the full 90 minute flight. I left feeling lighter, happier and with a renewed perspective of the world. Speaking to a stranger can allow you to speak openly and honestly about your feelings about your life. You are who you are as you are presented in that situation and without any of your history to cloud or influence the conversation.

 

I have had a number of conversations like this and meetings throughout my travels in the past 5 years. I really enjoy them and treasure those moments. Often I have been in a time of resistance or am feeling angst towards the world and these people step in, open me up, help me to share and work through my thoughts and then go on their merry way. No commitment, no hassle, just a good old chat and some important reminders and messages.

 

Abbotsford, Melbourne, 2011

I encourage you to embrace these situations. You may be tired and feel as though you want to be left alone and get on with your thing, but these can be welcome interruptions. They may give you insight into the way you were feeling and take you to a different level of thinking.

 

Thank you kind stranger and I too wish you all the best with this next season of your life.

 

(Photos from my random collection of Travel snaps – because they are beautiful)

This one is for the lifetime - Taken Oaxaca, Mexico 2009

 

A poem to explain more:

 

Reason, Season, or Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

— Unknown