Vlog of my 6 day family reunion trip to the Himalayan region of Ladakh, where we camped, enjoyed gorgeous scenery, and had quality family bonding time.
All videos taken with my iPhone 5.

Shanghai-La

imageimageimageimageUpon arriving in Shanghai, my first surprise was how at how clean it is. India is dirty, smelly, and crowded, and I was expecting the same from China. After taking a maglev train (my 3rd grade science fair project!) to the city, I had my second surprise— our hotel! We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria on The Bund (you can see our view in the first picture), which is not only a famous building in Shanghai but also an amazing five star hotel. I’m not sure how my dad pulled that one off but I will be forever grateful. We took a ferry across the Bund to the newer side of Shanghai and enjoyed the sunset from the top of the Oriental Pearl Tower. Afterwards, finding dinner was a struggle. I went into a snack shop where women yelled at me in Chinese, but I couldn’t identify anything. We also couldn’t find a restaurant with vegetarian food; we finally settled on Pizza Hut (which was actually pretty fancy).imageimageimageWe spent the next day exploring Shanghai Museum, People’s Square, Nanjing Pedestrian Market, and the old city areas. People’s Square has a huge park that was gorgeous; we found a man doing watercolor portraits so Drishaan and I decided to get one done. While we were sitting there tons of people stopped by to watch, and people even took pictures of us. Later when we were walking on the Bund, a bunch of women kept asking to take pictures with me but eventually there were so many I said no. At first I thought they were asking me to take a picture of them, but then they would drag me into the picture too (they’ve probably never seen an Indian person before). I also got to drink PMT from a street vendor and roam through markets in tiny allies. Shanghai was a great experience, and I hope I can visit Beijing sometime too!


White India

imageimageimageAfter an amazing week camping in the Himalayas with 18 members of my family (pics to come later), I’ve spent the last week in Delhi having the typical “foreigner experience.” I went to Kingdom of Dreams on Wednesday night, which is a place with cultural food, shopping, and AC (thank god). It was nice to go to a place where I could get food from all regions of India, and it had amazing backgrounds for pictures! We also watched a Broadway-style show that reminded me of Aladdin, and the lighting and sets were pretty impressive.imageimageThe next day my mom and I ventured to Janpath for a mother-daughter shopping bonding day. Janpath is a huge outdoor and indoor market with your typical “India junk”— we bought things like loose cotton pajamas, ethnic jewelry, and ayurvedic soaps. I had been pestering my mom to go because things there are dirt cheap and you can haggle like crazy— my mom managed to bring most of my purchases from 600 rupees (10 dollars) to around 250 (4 dollars). We also had lunch at Bikanerwala, a restaurant that serves snacks like chaat (Delhi street food) and Indian-Chinese. My mom and I are both addicted to chaat but I can’t stomach the questionably hygienic food served at roadside stands, so places like Bikanerwala are perfect alternatives. I’m pretty sad I have to leave Delhi tomorrow, but I’m excited to visit Shanghai next!  


Sari not sari

imageA few days later, I’m still jet lagged. Even though I get up at 5:30 every day, I’ve had the comfort and AC and WIFI— my parents went on business trips and dropped us off at my uncle’s house where I spent most of my days indoors. I did venture out to meet up with Aakash, my friend from Carnegie Mellon! We went to Mainland China where I was reminded of how nice Indian restaurants are— I had a five course meal for lunch for 500 rupees (around 8 dollars). I decided to take my 16 year old cousin with me because she is determined to come to America for college, and I think she enjoyed hearing about my antics and adventures with Aakash.imageimageimageYesterday I spent the day at Pacific Mall, a four story mall in Delhi that’s huge and so crowded. We watched a movie and snacked on kulfi faluda: Indian ice cream with rose flavored thin rice noodles. I love Indian street food but it can be unsanitary, so instead we went to Haldiram’s— a restaurant that serves street food and snacks and keeps it as authentic as possible. The malls in India have all the American and European brands, and I was pretty excited to see a F21! It also started raining extremely hard which cooled the area down for a bit, but unfortunately it was back to burning today. In a couple days I’m going up to the Himalayan region, so hopefully it’ll be a bit cooler.


No Naan-sense

imageimageAfter 2 days of travel and a quick stop in Vancouver, I finally arrived in India, where I will be spending the next 3 weeks. It is beyond hot (108 degrees F, 100% humidity) in New Delhi, where my dad’s family lives. I’ve been playing Ludo (the Indian version of Sorry) and card games with my dad’s extended family of 17 people at my grandparents’ house. This is one of my favorite parts of India trips— eating lychees and mangoes from local vendors, blogging with sporadic internet via ethernet cables, and going to the restaurant down the corner to pick up butterscotch ice cream. Delhi is extremely modernized now with 5 story malls and teenagers’ favorite pass-time being clubbing, but it’s nice to experience this part of India still feels so genuine. I’m excited to shop, eat, and spend time with my cousins over the next couple weeks, and hopefully not perish of mosquito bites and humidity (just kidding :P). image


The Brady Brunch

imageimageimageMisty and I were discussing the other day how brunch is the new “trendy meal,” so naturally our next adventure had to include brunch. Los Altos (where I live) is full of quaint breakfast/lunch places; we chose Bumble, which was an adorable but modern location that looks and feels like a home. I ordered the vegetarian melt, which was absolutely delicious. Tiffany and Misty, who ordered the quinoa salad, where picking up the leftover off of mine and Rhea’s plates. I definitely want to come here again to try their breakfast menu. imageimageimageAfterwords we stopped by Philz, a Bay Area coffee chain that stays authentic despite its multiple locations. We lounged in their courtyard style outdoor seating and drank mint mojito iced coffee, which is one of my favorite iced drinks. Unfortunately I had to say bye to my friends (at least until July) today because I am leaving for India later this week, but I can’t wait to resume our Bay Area adventuring when I get back!


What’s in my bag?

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I have a secret addiction: “what’s in my bag?” posts. Sometimes you’ll catch me in the middle of the night looking up videos or posts of famous fashion gurus in which they explain, in painstaking detail, the contents of their purse. So I thought it would be kind of fun for me to do one. Since I’m constantly changing between my work bag, gym bag, and going out bag, I picked up this adorable cake pouch the other day that fits all of my necessities and I can easily move it from bag to bag. Here is what I need on a daily basis:


Payday Wishlist

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Recently I received my first paycheck of the summer, and as much as I know I need to save it, I always have a sticky note on my computer with my ever growing wish list. Here are some things that have caught my eye in the past couple weeks:

1. ASOS Pineapple Watch: I’ve noticed that pineapple print is a huge trend for the summer, and lucky for me the mascot of the freshman dorm that I am a mentor for next year is pineapple! I want to pickup as many pineapple things as possible this summer, and this adorable watch is something I’ve got my eye on.

2. Black Oiled Leather Birkenstocks: I never really like Birkenstocks before, but I’ve noticed bloggers and people everywhere rocking them (Exhibit A, Exhibit B). I think they would be a nice, comfortable shoe to own that can go well with many of my outfits.

3. Wilfred Montrouge Shorts: Fabric shorts are all the rage, and I am obsessed with them. They are comfy and come in cute prints, like these ones from Aritzia. I definitely want to pick up some to wear with plain shirts on unbearably hot days.

4. One More Thing by B.J. Novak: B.J. Novak has been one of my favorite actors/comedy writers since The Office, and I love nothing more than his friendship with Mindy Kaling (here is a totally cute Buzzfeed article about it). After reading Kaling’s book a billion times, I need to read Novak’s. Like now.


#baylife

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When people at school ask me what I like to do at with my friends home for fun, my most typical response is “eat.” Another thing I try to explain to them is viewpoints— living in the hilly San Francisco area means going hiking as much as possible, or driving up to catch a glimpse of the Bay Area. Hunter’s point is one of my favorites, and last night I took my friends Susan and Stephanie, who had never been. The uphill trek in the dark was so worth it when we were surrounded by thousands of lights; I’ve been here during the day and you can see all parts of the day. We finished off our night with some It’s-It, a classic San Franciscan ice cream treat. Nights like these make me wonder why I ever left the perfect Bay Area for college.


Bananas for Butterfly

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Ahhhh, I do not have the words to explain how amazing last night’s meal was. Misty’s friend Tiffany, who is now fully integrated into our friend group, is working at her uncle’s restaurant on Pier 33 in San Francisco, and treated us all to dinner there last night. Butterfly is a trendy Asian fusion restaurant with killer waterfront views. We sipped on açaí lemonade and lycheetinis while munching on fresh summer rolls and noodles. Course after course arrived and my vegetarian bento box with fried sushi rice, thai curry, and sautéed bok choy was one of the best things I have tasted. Right when we thought we were full a variety of desserts arrived that were finished as soon as they were set down. It was a perfect night in the city with good company, good food, and good laughs.








© ohmockingjay