I don’t want to make this sound like a rant against Airasia. So, I’ll try to make this educational about how a badly set-up customer service process can lead to losing a long-time customer. Naah, I have a feeling that I might end up ranting anyway. I’ve been based in Singapore for over 5 years, and has also been bit by the travel bug since roughly then. Singapore is a great hub, and KL – just 5 hours away by road – is an even greater hub for low-cost budget travels through East and South Asia. There are atleast 4 major […]

9 ways that AirAsia screwed up my customer service experience

Koror palau 2
After the exciting island-hopping saga across the pacific ocean, reaching Koror at 11PM, I was eager and excited to check out the night-scene. I had slept mostly throughout my 4 different flights to get here. I could have been jetlagged, but I wasn’t. After all, Palau was just 1 hour ahead of Singapore, where I had started from. And the night was still young. All I had to do was get to my budget motel, check-in, and then go out for a few drinks. Sounds reasonable, right? Wrong! Again! My taxi-drive from the airport to my motel lasted about 15 […]

I went to Palau. And didn’t touch the water!

Yap airport micronesia
Manila It was an uneventful flight to Manila. I was no stranger to the Philippines. I lived here for 4 years. And even after I moved my base from the Philippines to the urbanscape that people called Singapore, I had visited Manila a couple of times. So, nothing exciting awaited me in Manila, save a couple of planned meetups with old friends. If you are looking for something interesting to do in Manila, go offbeat and check out the Ermita region for some amazing street photography opportunities. Owing to some confusion in my seat booking, Jetstar gave me a free upgrade to […]

Island-hopping on an airplane: Singapore to Palau

Where's my boat? - Srinagar, India
5th September 2014 – Srinagar, India The floods have hidden my light of the day And the fever kept my wanderlust at bay. In a city where the water finally found a new voice, The macbook is all I have to lust for today. So, the hotel I checked in last evening, is called the ‘silver star’ hotel. I checked in because i had no choice. This was beyond my travel budget, but hey, the rain-gods and floods had decided to play havoc with my wallet already. They had no single rooms available, and the only double-room remaining was a honeymoon […]

Project 365: Day 66 – Honeymooning in the floods

The only green point of the day. - Srinagar, India 2
4th September 2014 – Srinagar, India From an idyllic holiday, to a wet, rain-soaked tryst Perspectives changed as long as there was time to pass. I had played all my tricks, with sleight, with careful planning. But the rains had dealt their final hand, and a straight flush it was. So, my plan was very simple when I started my day. Ride to the Mughal gardens in the morning, take a quick look. Then go to Sanwar, to return the rented enfield motorbike, and more importantly, take my passport back (passports are security deposits for bike rentals in India). Then find a […]

Project 365: Day 65 – Stranded!

Taipei 101 4
If there ever was a country which lured me with its food, it was Taiwan. Living in Singapore, I had many friends from Taiwan. And every time we met over a beer or a kopi o peng, they kept describing how they missed Taipei, because it was the undisputed food capital of Asia. So, as it normally goes, I succumbed to the sins of gluttony that ruled my travel plans, and booked a flight to Taipei. Visa for Indians to Taiwan The Taiwan Taoyuan International airport, also called the Chiang Kai Shek airport, was modernistic and developed, but it was […]

A rainy night in Taipei : Taiwan

I have always wanted to go Petra. When I was finally planning on my travel to Jordan for this, I could not help but mix it up with some of the other countries nearby. Are you an Indian traveller, who is tired of all the visa interviews that we have to do? Better, visit these 10 countries where we don’t need an advance visa at all! Egypt was a given, despite all the protests that have been rocking the country recently. And then, the tough call was taking a trip to Israel, which was kind of the link that connects […]

When an Indian went for an Israeli visa interview

Having been globe-trotting for the last 6 or 7 years and making like-minded traveller friends everywhere, one line that I have heard most of my friends say, and which I never had a chance to say myself, was: “I missed my flight!”   Despite being a sticky situation to be in, and despite me making fun of them almost immediately when they tell me, there was always a tinge of jealousy somewhere inside me when I hear that line. I mean, when you think of somebody missing their flight, the first impression you have is of someone who has travelled so […]

How I missed a flight in Cairo!

Some of my close friends know this true story, but sharing for all because it is very relevant in the current Singapore atmosphere of 2013.   During my first month in Singapore, I randomly met this Malaysian-Chinese girl (Lets call her X) while smoking outside my office one day. Her English was not fluent, and I obviously knew nothing in Chinese, but we still had a good conversation over a cigarette, and then continued to meet again on a few dates. I was not interested in seeing the Indian side of Singapore (because I grew up in India, duh!), so […]

A question of race in Singapore

I have made quite a few gargantuan errors in my short life already, but nothing tops the episode early September 2012. So, I took up this job offer in Singapore, and moved in on the 1st of September, a saturday. I knew I had to rent out a house or a room. I knew I had to pay upfront a month’s deposit and a month’s rent, on top of  utilities deposit, altogether rounding to an exorbitant 3000 SGD. And I also had about 2 lakh INR in my HDFC bank in India. Any sensible man would have withdrawn the money from India, […]

An India-Singapore Financial tragedy