Indian Wolves, Mata Puteh, and Lime Juice in Singapore by Janine Donoho

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. – John Steinbeck

Jurong Bird Park

Jurong Bird Park

Tiger enclosure

White tiger enclosure

Travel to Singapore coincided with Intrepid Guy’s work. While waiting for his ship, we explored the numerous historical sites including Raffle’s writers’ bar once frequented by Somerset Maugham, Alfred Hitchcock, Ernest Hemingway, and my personal favorite, Rudyard Kipling. There we imbibed overpriced and watery Singapore Slings.

While squeaky clean Singapore has much to recommend it, this trip came shortly after taking my conservation biology degree at University of Washington. Some of my favorite memories include close interactions with pythons, orangutans, and elephants. The lingering tartness of lime juice, imbibed by the pint, recalls traipsing through Singapore Botanical Gardens where their National Orchid Gardens nestles between scenic Tyersall Avenue, Symphony Lake, and the ginger garden, where high humidity and heat released spicy aromatics from the rhizomes.

Tiger by night

Tiger by night

Baboon enclosure

Baboon enclosure

We lingered through the mind-boggling greens of rainforested afternoon into dusk, then full night at the Zoological Gardens, where natural features like water moats and growing barriers separate human predators from rainforest natives. During daylight we ogled diurnal inhabitants, and then scanned twilight for nocturnal activities. The cannonball fruit clustered along hanging walkways called to mind the supersized gonads of male bighorn sheep. And no, zoologists don’t blush when making these admittedly odd associations.

Cannonball fruit

Cannonball fruit

The delights of Jurong Bird Park paved my path to a coffee shop in the triangle where Tiong Bahru and Seng Poh roads meet. There I lingered on my last Sunday morning with a Japanese ornithologist whose English surpassed my Japanese. On a lattice above us dangled ornate cages holding single birds clustered together in breed specific groupings. Mostly eyes and voices, white-eyed mata putehs, black crested jambuls, and sharmas—whose showy tail feathers exceed their body length—congregated weekly to practice their songs while their owners boasted. As the songbirds trained for future competitions, their complex singing washed over us. I found myself overcome by both their resilient and yet fragile beauty along with my unexpected grief—how else could a confined bird learn her song? The birds’ courtship and territorial songs haunt me still. An exquisite cage is still a cage.

Why the caged bird sings

Why the caged bird sings

Now enjoy this recipe for my favorite lime drink

Lime drink - yum!

Lime drink – yum!

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 limes
  • 840 ml / 4 c cold water
  • 90 g / 3 tbsp sugar
  • 140 ml / 1 c boiling water

How to make Lime Drink:

  1. Wash and wipe dry limes. Roll each lime on table with palm to soften it.
  2. Cut lime skin as thinly as possible. Do not cut the white part as it will make the drink bitter.
  3. Pour freshly boiled water over lime skin and sugar.
  4. Stir till sugar dissolves. Cover for 10-15 minutes. Cool.
  5. Cut limes crosswise and squeeze juice.
  6. Strain lime juice and syrup into a glass jug.
  7. Add cold water and mix well.
  8. Cool in refrigerator before serving.

    Nocturnal Indian wolf

    Nocturnal Indian wolf

Travel as Gateway to New Worlds by Janine Donoho

We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment. – Hilaire Belloc

Egyptian passageway

Egyptian passageway

Doorways, windows, and gates always feel like a call to adventure. This proves especially true while taking in the view in Peloponnesian Greece while pivoting

Bronze age bath

Bronze age bath

around in Agamemnon’s ruined bath chamber. Experience delicious shivers when you remember that this is the scene of ancient crime. Upon Agamemnon’s return from the Trojan Wars, his wife Clytemnestra killed him to be with her lover Aegisthus. Then Orestes, her and Agamemnon’s son, murdered his mother in revenge before going mad with guilt.

History’s rampant with rape, murder, incest, and treachery—the substance of legend, myth, and story. Discoveries arise when you take a much needed break on

Anatolian burial site

Anatolian burial site

an Anatolian burial platform outside Pemukkale, Turkey. Or as you stand outside one of Malaysia’s ornate gates, where invented stories feed into your creativity about who lives behind them.

In Northern Africa I learned the phrase, “Your mother would be ashamed,” after inescapable brushes with roving gangs of

Valley of the Kings

Valley of the Kings

menacing boys. For those interested, it’s سيسبب عملك هذا الخزي لأمك! Sadly the pronunciation has moved beyond recall. My rendition usually garnered laughter while temporarily redirecting hooligans from tormenting innocent animals. Useful, huh?

Travel feeds spirit, imagination, and stretches your world view. You bump up against cultures and languages that expand your horizon exponentially. You gain language skills, especially polite ones, although I confess to a joy in adding foreign invectives to my vocabulary, too.

Portal to ancient Egypt

Portal to ancient Egypt

Welcome to another view of travels with moi. Enjoy and allow me to wish you joy in your journeys, too.

How have language skills expanded your travel? What do you wish you knew then that you know now?

Beautiful door & man

Beautiful door & man

Doorways

Doorways

Cattail gate

Cattail gate

More beautiful doors - Morocco

More beautiful doors – Morocco

Red gate Kuala Lumpur

Red gate Kuala Lumpur

Egyptian passageways

Egyptian passageways

Since I’m visually driven by seasonal changes and travel with eyes wide open, you’re invited into glimpses of my textured and colorful writer’s journey. Simply click on each link and enjoy. Virtual conversation is always welcome.

 

What I love to create

 

My Writer’s World = Readers Welcome

 

Who I am at heart

Link

Soundings, Water Elemental

LaunchFebruary 27th, 2015
The big day is here.

Newsletter signup

Join in and receive a FREE short story as my gift to you. Exclusive promos, book deals and contests available only to subscribers.

%d bloggers like this: