Another travel scam?

HolidayIQ got this email recently…


How are you doing! I hope you are fine? I’m sorry i didn’t inform you
about my trip to Scotland for a program, I’m presently in Scotland and
got mugged at a gun point by some armed robbers on my way to the hotel
where my money and other valuable things were kept including my
passport. I would like you to assist me with a loan of 1620Pounds to
sort-out my hotel bills and get myself back home.

I have spoken to the embassy here but they are not responding to the
matter effectively,I will appreciate whatever you can afford to assist
me with,I’ll Refund the money back to you as soon as i return, let me
know if you can be of any help. I don’t have a phone where i can be

Please let me know immediately.


Sampath’s Mojito


Given that Bangalore has been blazing over the last fortnight, the idea to make the HIQ party one mostly built on Bacardi Mojitos turned out to be a good idea. Thanks to Sampath, the Manager (and a card carrying mixologist) at Senate where we had the do for the thought.

This drink that become trendy a few years ago is actually from Cuba, which immediately adds allure for me. Of course, the fact that it featured often in Sex & the City can be overlooked for the fact that Hemingway was the one to popularise it to the world.

And you know the best part. It is actually a very refreshing drink.

An Organised Tour for your next vacation?

(Patagonia, Chile)

Organised tours, by the very idea, are not my kind of thing. Remember the ads from Indian tour operators promising a ‘maharaj’ who will cook all your meals while you traipse along with your group of culturally challenged countrymen, through Rome, the Pyrenees, the Adriatic or whatever. Thanks, but no thanks.

And then I recently came upon a selection of tours that National Geographic calls “50 tours of a lifetime”. Cool stuff, actually. After spending an agonizing hour over all the 50 options, here is my ‘Dream 3’ list which are the three tours that I would certainly want to go on before I get too old to.. you know what.

ONE. Wandering across the Chilean Patagonia. ‘Off the beaten Path’, the operator of this trip has been at this sort of thing for some time now. For about 8000 US Dollars, you can wander for 11 days around the famed Patagonia, taking in mountains, fjords and open spaces all the while being in close contact with local gaucho families, sharing their hearth & food.

TWO. New Zealand with the kids. Butterfield & Robinson, the organisers promise that you will Bike past sheep farms and lakes, fruit plains and vineyards, Cruise through icebergs to the foot of a glacier, Join a local guide in a Continue reading

Cuba’s Castro in The History Channel

(Here is a quick video tour of Cuban cooking)

Saw an interesting program this aftenoon on Fidel Castro on The History Channel. A lot of it was extremely well done narrative that strung together myriad events in Cuba. However, towards the end, this english language program (presumably) made by Americans did something surprising. It took a short look at Castro’s positive legacy for Cuba – notably the high quality of healthcare and education available to almost everyone in Cuba. And then, the commentary made an effective point. Continue reading