Easter long weekend break

It sounds crazy but we, Aussies get excited about long weekends. It doesn’t happen often but every time when a long weekend is on the way, most of us have plans for it. One of them was last weekend for Easter.

Normally, I plan months in advance for the break but this time I was too tired to even think about it. Having come back from Nepal just a few weeks ago, I needed to rest but of course, it was not going to happen.

Hunter Valley (2)

My cousins are visiting from the US and they were planning a trip away so we did a last minute planning. We were lucky that we managed to get accommodation for seven adults and three kids. Of course, it was expensive but still we managed to plan the trip and left Friday morning for the Hunter Valley.

Hunter Valley

We had been to Hunter Valley multiple times before but we still enjoyed the Hunter Valley Gardens with the kids again and also the wine tasting. The kids were having a blast and we just loved it  :)

Hunter Valley (1) Hunter Valley (3) Hunter Valley (4) Hunter Valley (5) Hunter Valley (6)

Nelson Bay and Toboggan Hill Park

Nelson bay is a big area and even though we had been there before, it was still a great place to be. We swam in One-mile beach and went for a walk in Nelson Bay wharf.

newcastle (4) newcastle (3) newcastle (2) Nelson Bay (2) Nelson Bay (1) newcastle (5)

We also went to Toboggan Hill Park, which is set amongst natural bush just off Salamander Way at Nelson Bay. We had so much fun with the kids tobogganing. The 1km track starts with an automatic uphill tow of 300 metres.

From the top station, we can control the speed of our toboggan as we commence the exhilarating descent.  The track winds down through 11 bends before we reach the bottom. With practice, speeds of up to 45 – 50km/hour are possible. All the little ones rode with their mum/dad and they enjoyed it a lot too.

Toobagan Hill

The Entrance

Surrounded by lagoons, lakes and beaches, The Entrance is a beautiful town. When we arrived in The Entrance, they were having markets and carnival for Easter. We just walked around and enjoyed the view.

The entrance (4) The entrance (5) The entrance (6)

At 3.30 pm they had pelican feeding and that is what we wanted to observe. The pelican feeding in The Entrance Memorial Park is a highlight of the place. By 3:00 pm there were so many people gathered in the park. We also waited patiently as we knew the feed went ahead in all weather and is sponsored by local businesses.

The entrance (2)

According to the official info, the pelican feeding started by accident over twenty years ago when staff from a local fish and chip shop would throw out scraps. It became such a ritual that whenever the staff were late in throwing their scraps out, the pelicans would cross the road and come up to the shop to be fed. The Pelicans start coming in group to the waterfront around 3.00, approaching the platform slowly and jump into the platform just before 3.30 pm when the staff are ready to feed them with the fish.

The entrance (3) The entrance (1) The entrance (8) The entrance (7)

It was a great to watch them as they eat the fish and go back to the water. It’s not all fun and games, though.  The volunteers use the daily contact to keep an eye on the welfare of the pelicans, which are prone to injury from plastic bags, fishing line and hooks.

nepaliaustralian

Hope all of you had great Easter too.

This week is very short week for us (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) as from this Friday we are having Anzac long weekend so looking forward to another long weekend.

Take care, everyone.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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Lapsi ko achar (Nepali hog plum pickle)

Every time we go to Nepal, my MIL makes sure that we have enough laspsi ko achar for our entire stay. This time while we were there, she made the second batch and I helped her. Sharing the recipe with all of you here.

lapsi

Normally, lapsi ko achar is a bit sweeter than I like so when we make it at home, we tend to use less sugar. Feel free to add more sugar if you like very sweet lapsi ko achar.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg Lapsi
  • ½ teaspoon cumin Seeds
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seed
  • 2 teaspoons mustard oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Some raisins
  • 1 cup Water

Method

  • In a pressure cooker, add lapsi and water enough to cover all the lapsi and cook for 5 to 8 whistle.
  • Take out the lapsi from the pressure cooker and check if it is cooked well and its skin comes off easily.

bolied lapsi

  • Peel off the skin and set aside. Put the rest of the laspi in a bowl.

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  • In a big pan, heat oil and add fenugreek seed until it is dark brown in colour.
  • Turn off the heat and add turmeric powder. Let it fry for a few seconds.
  • Now add all the lapsi to the pan.
  • Add sugar, chill, salt, mix well and cook on low heat.
  • Once the mixture become a bit thick, let it cool down.
  • Now add raisins and the achar is ready.
  • The lapsi ko achar can be eaten for several days. If it lasts that long :)

Lapsi ko achar

My Life Lesson No 1: Say what you are thinking

I was reading the title of this post again and again. I couldn’t believe I was going to write about life lessons but I guess I could now as I have some life experience. I definitely want to write about what I have learned in my not very long life and share it here hoping it might be helpful to someone.

Having a husband like AS, who can be your therapist and psychiatrist is a great plus point in life. He has always helped me a lot ,especially when I am in pain or in my weakness. There are lots of things he has taught me and one of the thing he has always encouraged me is to tell people what I feel and what is in my head.

I used to be a people person, trying hard to be friends, hard to be responsible in every relation I have like a daughter, sister, friend, cousin, SIL, DIL etc. However, most of the time, no one really saw my sacrifice to please them; actually in most case it went unnoticed. I didn’t even get a simple thank you instead I was taken for granted by the vary people who I was trying to please so hard.

The way I used to deal with it in the past was to just get sad and upset but never in front of the people who said or did something to get me upset. It used to make me feel down to the point I used to cry and make me doubt my every move. I even fought with AS when he tried his best to get me out of my emotion whirlpool.

It took hours and in some cases days to recover from those messes. On the other hand, the person who hurt me had no clue that I was upset let along care that they caused me pain.

So recently I adapted the rule “Say what you are thinking”.

Funny enough it worked so well for me because now I just let them know in kinder words that their action/word had hurt me. In most cases, they seemed to be surprise and say sorry. In others, they didn’t have a better come back so they just ignored it, but still getting my feeling out there was a big relief.

For me it was the best as I spent less time thinking about it as it is already resolved from my side and now I can use the same energy in something better and I am a happier person. I know it may not work every time but I am sticking to it as it has definitely lessen my pain and anguish.

Let me know if you agree with my views?

P.S. We are in Central coast for our easter break. Hope everyone is having a great Easter too. HAPPY EASTER !!!

Pau Kwa (Nepali hog plum – Choerospondias axillaris)

While I was in Nepal, my mum made pau (Pau Kwa – a hot and sour drink) for me. I forgot to take photos of every step but here is easy recipe that she followed.

lapsi

Unfortunately, I can’t make it here as I can’t find lapsi here but if you want to try it, please follow these steps.

Ingredients:

  • ½ kg lapsi
  • 1 tea spoon fenugreek seed
  • 2 teaspoons black salt (Birae Nun)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Chopped coriander to garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • Water

 Procedure

  • In a pressure cooker, add lapsi and water enough to cover all the lapsi and cook until 5 – 8 whistles.
  • Take out lapsi from the pressure cooker and check if the lapsi cooked well and its skin comes off easily.

bolied lapsi

  • Take out the skin and seed and mash the remaining lapsi pulp (pau) with 2 cups of water . Use hand or whisker to mix the pau so you get the right thickness. Add water until you get the thickness you like. I normally like mine thin, like the consistency of orange juice.
  • Add black salt, salt, and chilli powder and mix well.
  • In a pan, heat the oil.
  • Now add the fenugreek seed and fry it until it turns dark brown.
  • Add this to the pau.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and pau kwa is ready.

paau

Game Of Thrones Season 4 – the shocker

Like all the other fans of Game of Thrones series, I was impatiently waiting for the season 4 to start as well. It had been more than 10 months. I started reading the book a while ago but then stopped as I wanted to enjoy the series first and enjoy the suspense every episode carries.

I was really excited when I got to watch the first episode last week. When it ended I couldn’t get enough and was eagerly waiting for the next one which I watched last night.

*SPOILER ALERT**

Please don’t read further if you haven’t watched the series and plan to watch it.

Having disliked Joffrey for 3 seasons now, I was waiting for someone to kill him and I secretly wished it to happen horribly but I was in for a shocker at the way he has been killed off on his wedding day.

Because he is one of the most hated characters in the show, I though he will be there for a while but no, they just decided to kill him. I am not shocked that he died but of the way he died. I wanted him to be killed in a much more brutal way than just a simple poising. I’m sure many people also felt he deserved a more extreme end than a simple, straight forward poisoning – which only took only about 20 seconds to kill him.

When we finished watching the show yesterday, I was a bit upset because that is not how I wanted the episode to end. However, having watched the series for 3 seasons now I should definitely have expected the unexpected from a writer who bumps off our favourite characters one by one.

Now everyone is speculating on who actually killed the king. I am so eager to find out and can’t wait for the next episode. AS knows as he’s read all the books but he just keeps mum on the topic!

Are you watching Games of Throne? Share your thoughts?

Take care until my next post.

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

Our one night stay in Guangzhou, China

This is the continuation of the post I wrote while I was in Nepal.

Once we were told that our flight had been cancelled due to bad weather and that we were going to spend the night in China, there was some confusion. It looked like the airline staff also didn’t know what was going to happen next. They just gave us visas to exit the airport and asked us to wait in a room. Thankfully, the staff member who was dealing us spoke good English so we could direct our queries and get some answers.

The waiting room had some chairs and snacks. They had some drinks, biscuits, and chocolate. I was kind of hungry and cold so ate one biscuit and drank a bottle of water.

Guangzhou (1)

Luckily AS had his thick jumper in his carry on while I had only a thin one. I was a bit cold when we were waiting while I could see all the airport staff was wearing puff jackets. I didn’t put anything in my hand carry because I didn’t think about that the flight could be cancelled. I expected few hours delay but not 14 hours.

We were in the waiting room for almost an hour when they finally asked us to follow them. We were going to a hotel. We all followed this guy all the way to the exit and as soon the door opened, I want to go and hide somewhere. It was freezing and the wind was not helping either.

As soon as we got out, I saw a hotel across the street. I was happy thinking that we were going there as we start crossing the road; but to my disappointment, we were told to wait for a bus to take us to our hotel. In a few minutes, the bus arrived and we all jumped inside. The staff member told us that we are going to some hotel but I didn’t catch the name.

Guangzhou (4)

At least it was warm inside the bus and we stared our 45 minutes ride to the hotel. Because we were not given a time frame, every hotel we saw on the way, we expect the bust to stop but it kept moving until it came to the Jiaerdeng Hotel Guangzhou.

Guangzhou (3)

The entrance of the hotel looked nice and we were all happy that it is a decent hotel. Most of us hadn’t slept for the last 24 hours so all we wanted was some warm food and bed for the night before we woke up the next morning to go back to the airport. I felt like a zombie and was looking forward to a hot shower as well.

As we queue behind the other passengers from the plane, we suddenly realised that there was no one from the airport with us. In addition, though not surprisingly, no one at the front desk spoke or understood any English. They had no clue why we were there so they were not giving us any rooms. We all spent next half hour trying to make them understand that we needed a room but it was of no use. No matter how slowly we spoke, they didn’t know what to do. We were stranded in the hotel lobby of a hotel in China with no clue what was going to happen next.

Luckily one of the bellboys of the hotel took his phone out and used Google translate to tell us that they had no idea what to do with us as they have no instruction from the airlines or the hotel management. Finally some communication! Then when we asked about the internet, he showed a plaque on the wall that had some number on it. No one had noticed that before but finally we saw a ray of hope in the dark tunnel. We all connected to the internet and used Google translate to talk with them.

Guangzhou (2)

Finally, after a real good effort by a few people, they manage to talk get someone form the airline and allocated the rooms. It was such a relief to get the key to our room. We got a nice big room on the 7th floor. Me and AS literally ran to the room to drop our stuffs and rest. It was after midnight in Sydney by then and we were so tired.

Guangzhou (3)

While we were getting ready to sleep, we realised that we hadn’t had a proper meal for a while so decided to see if they had anything to eat at all. When we went downstairs, there was a hotel staff handing a takeaway container to everyone and that was our dinner. When we opened it in our room, I was but disappointed as it had rice, cabbage and some chicken only, not very appetizing. As AS was hungry he had some of it and I did eat a few spoons and it was enough for me.

Guangzhou (4)

I was still freezing so AS decided to give me his jumper. The room had air conditioning but as everything was in Chinese we had no clue what to do. Still with some trial and error AS managed to turn off the air conditioning. In around 6 hours we had to wake up again as we need to be at the airport 3 hours before our flight to Kathmandu so we set an alarm and went to bed.

Guangzhou (5)

It was so difficult to wake up the next morning but I dragged myself out of bed and had a shower. I knew if I didn’t, I would be a zombie for the rest of the day. Once we got ready, we went to the lobby and there were lot more people in the lobby than the night before. They were going to airport to catch their flight to Kathmandu as well.

Guangzhou (1)

With half an hour for the bus to come pick us up, me and AS had enough time to go around the area and see the place. We saw lots of older people doing their morning exercising. When the bus arrived there was not enough room for everyone in that bus and we had to wait longer for next bus. Finally, it did and we were all happy to be on the road to the airport.

After 25 minutes, we were back doing the check-ins for our flight. The flight was on time and we were relieved when we finally boarded plane to Kathmandu. The flight from Guangzhou to Kathmandu was smooth and without any dramas and we landed in Kathmandu in the afternoon, 14 hours later than scheduled.

My FIL and BIL were at the airport to pick us up and we were on our way home.

So, this was my experience with China Southern Airlines. I am sure no one could do anything about the weather but the airlines did try their best to look after us. Being in China, it is expected that they don’t speak English. While our experience could have been a bit better, I have no problems flying with them the next time though I will certainly pray for good weather.

Yahoo

AS and I email each other while at work sometimes. Both of us are so busy someday that the only way to talk is via email. Sometimes it is a few words depending upon the context. Here is one of the funny email chains.

My email (After forwarding an email): OK. I have sent you John’s email. Please read.

AS’s email : Where?

My email: Yahoo

AS’s email: What yahoo… where did you send me John’s email? To which of my email ids?

My email: Ur yahoo email

AS’s email: hahahahaha, just had a brain fa*t!

He just made my day and I still laughed when I read the email chain again this morning.