Saturday, June 29, 2013

UE's Weekend Challenge: Black and White - Saints Peter and Paul Church, San Francisco, California - June 30, 2013

This lovely church, directly acoss from Washington Square in San Francisco's 
North Beach area, has been the home church and cultural center for San 
Francisco's Italian community since its consecration.  In recent years, it has 
also become the home church for the city's Chinese-American Roman Catholic 

The church has been part of many movies filmed in San Francisco.,_San_Francisco

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Camera Critters #273 - Cat Nap - June 29, 2013

Tom is one of four feline residents where I am staying in Bandra West.  While I
am pretty allergic to cats, Claritin and my twice daily nasal spray seem to be
doing the trick.  For the most part, these kitties spend most of their time 
switching off sleeping spots and ignoring the constant swirl of crows and kites 
around their 7th floor abode.

This is Tom's favorite sleeping position.  He, occasionally, arouses, to look out 
the door for his lady love.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Floor to Ceiling Color - June 27, 2013

One of the shops, Rosy and I stopped by at the Link Square Mall on Tuesday was 
this amazing spot, bright and colorful, that sold all sorts of EXPENSIVE groceries.  
I think their card reads "CAREE4R Food Stuff" but it isn't very clear, in a splash
of color.  What I found amusing is that, every inch of space, from floor to ceiling,
was cram full of goods.  They had all kinds of chocolates ( I admonished him for
not having Ghirardelli ) and, even, one kind of marzipan ( which I had to purchase ).

No Kashfi!

Such colorful packaging!

Something for every taste...but I can forego "Old El Paso" in India

Quite a chocolate collection but this place is not for the claustraphobic - 
there is barely space in this shop to turn around.

Who is that wierd foreigner taking pictures?

Ummmm, Godiva for every need!

Yea, for the Swiss!

Very expensive nuts but he says they are the BEST!

Farewell - two dark chocolate Kit Kats and a marzipan later!

Serenity in the Midst of Mumbai Chaos - June 26, 2013

It has taken me quite a while to recover from my very debilitating four day illness.  I,
faithfully, finished all fifty doses of various medications, drank electrolyte replacement
packets, and spent a good deal of time horizontal, lacking the energy to do much 
else.  Outside, monsoon rains poured, off and on, and the news networks filled the
airwaves with the tragedy befalling thousands of pilgrims in the Uttarakhand floods.
Such sadness for India.

Finally, yesterday, Rosy Toscano and I decided to head out to Linking Road in Bandra
West, during a lull in the rains.  She had been telling me about a Thai foot massage
enterprise she had experienced last year when it first opened.  Sorely missing my
wonderful Jaipur full body massages ( $9 US/hour ), I decided this was the next best

We arrived at the Link Square Mall, and strolled about for a little while.  It wasn't a 
huge shopping complex but very compact floors, with small shops, packed floor to
ceiling with their wares, every inch of space utilized to the maximum.  I was in search
of a data card for the new Samsung phone I'd had to purchase and, immediately on
entering, I found my store.  Then, within steps, I found a watch store to replace my
fading battery.  What luck!

The Sabai Foot Spa, on the first floor, calls itself, "Bangkok in Mumbai."  The owner,
from Thailand, has established  four of these lovely facilities, claiming the benefits
of Thai foot massage improve blood circulation, remove toxins, stimulate lymphatic
drainage, boost the immune system - among other things.  The setting is definitely
peaceful, lovely, and serene.

Prices vary from 1350 rupees ( $22.61 ) for an hour of Thai traditional foot massage
to 3500 rupees ( $58.62 ), for ninety minutes with two therapists, and including back,
head and shoulder massage.

Rosy and I were the only clients and were most welcomed.  We went 
together into the lovely room where we had our massages, side by side.
I was absolutely oblivious of her during my ministrations, mesmerized by
the haunting and beautiful music, the scents of the various potions, the

The decor and setting was lovely, indeed - and so far removed from the 
cacophony and horn blaring of thousands of autorickshaws outside!

Everything about the place felt healing, from the decor, the firm touch of the 
therapist, the music, the flow of water over rocks and fountains.  I was sorely
in need of just that and I lay back and let it all work its wonder.

This Buddha reminded me of the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho in Bangkok.  I
wrote a poem about him in my book, "Life's Journey."

Rosy's treatment begins

An array of magical potions

Our wonderful experience went far beyond one hour and included a neck, back, 
head and shoulder massage, in addition to the foot massage.  Rosy, who had
been to Sabai when it first opened says the service and experience has 
improved tremendously since her initial visit.  Apparently, the owner has 
worked to make this an unforgettable and delightful treat for all who partake.  

As we paid, we were given a card, with one slot marked.  When we have ten 
visits, we will receive a complimentary massage.  I will have no problem coming ten
times!!  If only such luxuries were affordable in the United States.

The finale:  a cooling towel, ginger tea, and crisp pieces of apple!  Superb.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Camera Critters #272 - Kites ( Milvus migrans govinda ) of Bandra - June 22, 2013

The friends with whom I'm currently residing are in a 7th floor apartment that looks 
out on the Arabian Sea.  Birds soar about, dive bombing, and squawking, 
especially during daytime hours.  They are, primarily, crows and black kites
( Milvus vigrans govinda or common pariah kite ).  These birds prefer to be near
human habitation and are a little smaller than vultures.  They normally eat small 
birds, mice, lizards, termites.  

Rosy helps them out a bit by throwing out small pieces of raw chicken which they
swoop by and grab.  It is amazing to see.  The crows get pieces of bread and 
actually approach the window to take it from her hand.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Flash 55 - Mumbai "Motion"

I try to be most careful,
Of what I drink and eat,
But some pretty potent bacteria,
Has knocked me off my feet.

Here they call it "motion",
And the doc came in the night,
But three days of medication,
And the end is not in sight.

I have jump started my next weight loss!

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

To My Father - June 16, 2013

I've never been a father,
But I've felt a father's touch,
And know that special feeling,
That has always meant so much.

I've seen the smile that starts,
Deep within his eyes,
And lights up all his face,
So knowing and so wise.

I've seen him filled with worry,
When I have caused him pain,
And I swear that I will never,
Be the source of hurt again.

I watched him work so hard,
Putting his needs last,
Trying to provide for us,
Anything we asked.

He always was forgiving,
When I put him to the test,
In this world of fathers,
Mine, by far, is just the best.

His scowl could be erased,
With a hug and kiss from me,
When he'd return, at night, from work,
At tired as could be.

He never was too busy,
To listen to my woes,
From my early childhood days,
To the problems with my beaus.

I often take for granted,
He knows how much I care,
But, just in case, I'll say, Dad,
You're the best one anywhere.

Carmen Henesy

Copyright (c) June 16, 2013 by Carmen Henesy 
All rights reserved. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Flash 55 - The Wet Set - 6-14-13

It isn't raining cats and dogs,
There are none in sight,
For Mumbai's monsoon rains are here,
And they are quite a fright!

Creating havoc in the streets,
The swirling waters rise,
As the deluge keeps on falling,
From the darkened, gloomy skies.

Safe inside, I love the sound,
Of raindrops pounding on the ground.

Copyright (c) June 2013 by Carmen Henesy 
All rights reserved

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thanks to One and All - Slowly But Surely, A Home Is Finalizing - Home, June 12, 2013

I cannot believe my stay at the J. K. Regency is now into its 8th day.  Two days
ago, the phone went out, supposedly because of the monsoon rains.  When
I want room service ( no restaurant here in which to eat but, somewhere in the
bowels of the hotel, someone cooks ), I have to call the front desk on my mobile!
I did my Trip Advisor review and I haven't really changed my opinion.  I would
never again stay here.

I've been out with two different brokers to see properties.  I specified, very 
clearly, my needs...among them, ground floor, or a lift.  The man, with whom 
I was out yesterday, took me to four places.  Three of them were on the 1st 
floor.  I can manage one flight of stairs but, when we came to the last place
and it was on the 2nd floor, I was furious and told him to get out of the rickshaw
and I headed home.  Besides, every property was disgusting - filthy, holes in 
the walls, trash on the floors.  I can't believe owners would show places like

The day before, the father of Edsel Toscano, a dear friend from Royal Caribbean
cruising days, went with me to see some places in Bandra where he lives.  He 
and I were both appalled at what we were shown, especially since Bandra is 
quite an upscale area.  Yesterday, Norman called and said his wife had been
asking around and their neighbor had a friend with a room to rent.  He came all
the way from Bandra to go with me to see the place which was in the home of a
lovely lady named Norma, a 67-year-old widow with a very nice home in a good 
location in Andheri West, one of the areas in which I was interested.  It is perfect
for me - bedroom with its own bath AND a separate entrance, use of the kitchen,
if I like, a washing machine and her company if I'm lonely.  We have much in
common and she was in the work force for many years and speaks perfect 
English ( though I need to learn Hindi ).  The only hitch is that the place isn't 
available till July 1.  Once again, the Toscanos to the rescue.  Their friend, who
lives next to them, offered a room in her place ( she is in Australia ) until the
first.  I don't know what the rent will be ( reasonable, I'm sure ) so I am out of this
hotel tomorrow.  

I need to do something special for Edsel who is also in Australia with his lovely
wife, Gisela, and their sweet little boy - and for his parents.  I will so much enjoy
spending part of the next two + weeks visiting with Norman and Rosie.  I was 
supposed to meet them last time I lived in Mumbai and I really regret that I 
didn't.  Now I will make up for lost time, being right next door.  I can see now why
Edsel is the sweetheart he is!

So, thanks to all of you who cheered me on, prayed, encouraged and kept the 
faith.  I was almost ready to give up.  I know this may well be my last time in India...
in spite of my ten year visa, I have to acknowledge I AM getting old!  I do hope to
visit my friends in Jaipur, Chandigarh, Delhi, Pune and Bangalore and to add a few 
new places to the list.  I may be going by bus or train, though, since it is so much
more economical.

Road are in great disrepair and flood easily during the monsoon rains

Business goes on as usual

At least, his umbrella isn't inside out!

Sweet children, living on the roadside and trying to stay dry

A common sight in front of shops as people clean their drains in 
an effort to prevent flooding

Fallen flowers everywhere

A yummy lunch to restore one's soul

I don't know what this is called but it was great!