In the miso soup !

The author Ryu Murakami is another author from Japan and is no way related to Haruki Murakami who has had many well known books written to his name, and have also been adapted to movies.

Ryu Murakami has written quite a few books “Audition” and “Piercing” are two of his other popular books apart from “in the miso soup” written by Ryu Murakami. 

The other two books too like the”In the miso soup” are centred around the dark backdrop of Japan, disillusion, drug use and Murder 

The book  titled “In the Miso soup “ is a apt title  for  two reasons – One because the character compares his life with the miso soup and phara phrase  the quote “I’m in the miso soup myself- Just like those bits of vegetable. I’m floating around in this giant bowl of it, and that’s good enough for me. 

And the other  the book is titled “In the miso soup” because the character’s  purpose to visit Japan was to find out what the people who eat the miso soup on daily basis might be like.Again to Quote from the book. As he once ordered it in an  America  restaurant and was intrigued  about it. He decided  travel to Japan. 

The moment I read the title of the book and turned over to read the blurb mentioned below,I was interested in reading this book. . 

It’s just before New Year, Frank an overweight American tourist, has hired kenji to take him on a guided tour of Tokyo’s nightlife.

But, Franks behaviour is so odd that Kenji begins to entertain a horrible suspicion : His client may in fact have murderous desires. 

Although, Kenji is far from innocent himself, he unwillingly descends with frank into an inferno of evil, from which only his sixteen year old girlfriend, Jun, can possibly save him.

Yeah, It’s a coincidence that this is my second book in a row from a Japanese author. But,The Japanese authors have such interesting storylines ,written in a captivating way that you become so engrossed in the storytelling, you only want more and more of it.

The book is written in three chapters. 

Chapter 1 – Describes and establishes what the story is about – The beginning of how the characters meet. 

Chapter 2 – The relationship between the two and why Kenji becomes suspicious  about his client. 

Chapter 3 – Is the reason behind why  one  should read the book. 

The Book highlights the American and Japanese culture,What makes each different and similarities amongst the two. The ideology between the two nations amongst the locals and the identities each of the nation has created for itself. 

Since the book was written long back ago, You might agree/disagree about some of the points discussed. 

In the miso soup” Is a crisp, well written physiological thriller set in the dark backdrop of Japan,that you will only put  the book down once you read it.

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Go Goa!!

Goa seem’s so huge.In the last one year have visited Goa thrice and haven’t really gone to the same place twice. In terms of the geography too! When we last visited we were at the Candolim beach,The beach closest to Panjim(City side) we were only around Taj exotica and Aguada and hence only explored that area. But,This time we explored the Morijim beach North of Goa,
51 Kms from Panjim the capital of Goa.
This Goa Visit was more for Food & Party and that’s why  we had some of the  finest food in Goa.Sublime in Vagator for continental food must  try the Fish Bass.Gunpowder or Black Pepper Prawns,La Palage for Sunset & Dessert, chronicles for Partying & Drinks and Burger Factory’s Prawn Burger is Must with the other burgers that are to die for. These were some of the places we tried & loved. 
Next time hoping to explore yet another side of Goa. 

2018 Dairies !!

2018 has been a Journey filled with lots of travel Stories. Right From Jaipur to Jodhpur in India to Monoco and Morocco for Work. And not to forget the highlight –  Japan for Family Holiday. 
Culture
Experiencing the Rajasthan culture in India to experiencing the Japanese culture and living the  Moroccan life. 
All these places either had Food, lifestyle or architecture. And these  Culture  became another Journey in itself.
Books worth the Read In 2018. 
Journeys through the books. 
Starting from Exiting West to Landing at the port of Mokha and Many reads in between from open by Andre Agassi to “Killing Commendatore by Murakami  below are the top 5 reads of 2018.
1.Exit West – by Mohsin Hamid  stories of immigrants. 
2.Homo Deus – by Yuval Harari  How the Technology  is collecting data and using it. 
3.Born a Crime – by Trevor Noah A true story of a comedian born in South Africa with a mother being a black and father a white. 
4.Monk of Mokha –  by Dave  Eggers – Story of how The port of Mocha coffee travelled across the international waters.
5.Killing Commendatore – by Murakami
Noteworthy Movies of 2018 
1.Puzzle -How a simple gift of a puzzle changes the perspective of one individual 
2.Crazy Rich Asians – The Big fat Indian wedding going global 
3.Searching – How technology helps track down a father daughter and her murderer. 
4.Ben is Back – A  young drug addict and his mother’s story to come in terms with reality. 
And the Hindi film industry had many movies to choose to watch this year! 
But there a few out there you couldn’t miss at all . 
1.Pad Man by R.Balki was one of the great stories the year began with and continued till Raid, The income tax issue can sometime come as a surprise-Ajay Devgn needs to experiment.
2.Hichki -Though a inspiration from the west.Brought Rani Mukherji Back as a actor and the production house for their content. 
3.Missing the only missing from this psychology thriller was the audience who missed one of the best thrillers of the year.
4.October – Simple stories are the most difficult to tell.And October by Shoojit Sircar was one such story.
5.Beyond the cloud by Majid Majidi -Had the world  take notice of Ishan Khattar as an actor & performer 
Raazi,Soorma,Parmanu,Andhadhun,Badhaai Ho ! And Manmarziyaan were a few movies to watch out. 

La Mamounia the destination !!

La MamouniaLa Mamounia hotel is an experience in itself. I can’t think of hotel that I have been to that has so much character and culture. From the moment you enter the hotel,Step into the porch and enter the hotel lobby.You have so much to take in. Every corner,The Guard wearing traditional outfits is worth photographing. 
The lobby is got one of the most “Modern hotel feel” but the rest is very cultured and design oriented. 
The Bars-Churchill & Piano Bar. I just did not want to move from here. Even though I don’t drink.I kept visiting these venues for coffee & orange juice.The worlds best orange juice is found in Morocco,No wonder the hotel had so many orange trees planted in the garden with lemon trees. Everyday having the freshest orange for breakfast or anytime of the day.
If that’s all you thought was the pampering the guest received while staying here. 
Well Pierre Hermé From Paris is right in the hotel lobby,Where you can enjoy some of the best Macrons & Chocolates. 
The restaurants in the hotel have a Moroccan touch in so many ways -From thr stencils glasses to the the velvet upolestry for the chairs and the lamp lighting to set in the mood during the dinner in the evenings. 
The swimming pool too has a worthy view for the ones who just want to laze around for a sun bath.
The most soothing places out of all is the spa.It’s a heaven and paradise in itself.
The Suite in the hotel known as the Riad’s is enough to call it home for many.The hotel has only 3 of these. But,The way it’s done up it’s nothing over the top like many luxury hotels.But is very spacious and tastefully done.Morning you can enjoy the view of the orange trees or rather Enjoy the sunrise between the coconut trees. 
The Moroccan restaurant in the property is one of the best places to enjoy the sun set

Trivia: 
1.Winston ChurchillHas a Bar & Suite named after him here as this was his favourite place in the world-He described the place as the most lovely spot in the world. Winston Churchill would visit often and paint during his stay- His painting are in the Moroccan museum.
2.La Mamounia is named after the prince Al Mamoun.Who was gifted the  gardens, that was attached to the hotel  as a wedding gift in the 18th century.
3.The Most Instagramable Place in #Marrakech 

The Monk of Mokha -Book Review !

The Monk of Mokha is a true story about Mokthar alkhanshali who did many odd jobs until one day when a lady asked  #Mokhtar have you seen the statue across the street?  and she was surprised he had never seen the statue. 
That’s a statue of Yemini dude Al Shadhili  known as the monk of Mokha. drinking a big cup of coffee, she told him. 
That’s got to mean something.May be this is your thing.You’re 25.Pick a direction for your life.
And thus began the journey for Mokthar and Port of Mokha. But it wasn’t easy and all the struggle during the civil war in Yemen is narrated and the final escape from Aden to US to exporting the grounds is nail biting.Just like as if you are reading a thriller.
Trivia:
1.Port of Mokha – Was  the primary point of all coffee grown in Yemen.
2. 2014 mokhtar became the worlds  1st Arab Q grader of arabica coffees.
3.Q Grading program :The Q grader program was first launched in 2004, It’s six full days of intense training.The certification is useful for purchasing coffee, selecting roast profiles and production/processing methods, understanding coffee origins, and more.
4.In 80 years it was the 1st time coffee left from the port of Mokha in Yemen during the civil war 
5.As of spring 2017 farmers replaced 17,000 qat plants with Coffee trees.
6.The 1st container of 18,000 kg of port of Mokha was sold out across 4 continents in 45 days.
7. February  2017 -Coffee review awarded port of Mokha’s haymah microlat 97 rating the highest score issued in the publication 20 years.
8.The first coffee house was called Qahveh Qahveh