I have been most fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit many countries and experience different cultures, traditions and cuisines. I have also met many people, some of whom have become close friends. In this post I would like to share with you some interesting anecdotes and experiences. Those of you who love to travel will agree with me how rich our life becomes when we move out of our comfort zone and travel to different places. When we decide to engage in activities that we normally do not do the experience is most fulfilling! Meeting people of different backgrounds, culture, nationalities and educational levels enhances our knowledge of the world and adds sparkle to our lives.

The Blarney Stone

Many years ago on a visit to Cork, Ireland, His Highness and I visited Blarney Castle. Like thousands of others before us, we climbed the steps to where the Blarney Stone is located. We watched as people ahead of us were held by someone and lowered head first over the battlements to kiss the Stone. Why, you ask, would people wish to kiss this Stone? When you kiss the Blarney Stone you will be blessed with the gift of eloquence.

There are many stories about the origin of the Stone. One states that the prophet Jeremiah brought the Stone which was Jacob’s Pillow to Ireland. It was then used as an oracular throne of Irish kings. Another legend states that it was taken to Scotland and used as the Stone of Destiny by the royals. In 1314 it was returned to Ireland. Then there is another story that states that the stone was brought to Ireland from the Crusades. There are others who believe that this was the stone that gushed water when struck by Moses.

Coming back to my visit to the Blarney Stone, His Highness was eager to kiss the Stone and he wanted me to do so. Well, guess what? I refused to do it. I freaked out at the precarious way in which one had to be held in order to kiss the Stone. But the other concern I had was that as so many other people had kissed the Stone before how hygienic indeed was the Stone? Oh no! Forget about the gift of Eloquence, the ability to persuade with words and to make fantastic speeches. I was determined not to kiss the Stone. His Highness though, went ahead and kissed the Blarney Stone!

The Impossible Caddy

His Highness used to love playing golf on different courses in different countries. He would, on occasion, pack a golf bag and clubs, shoes, etc.to take when we went on holiday. Balancing everything on a trolley was a work of Science! Golf courses are very beautiful. Well-landscaped, they are often well positioned too. By this, I mean that they would be by the sea or set in a valley with hills and mountains around! I love walking round the pristine fairways and looking at the flora and fauna. His Highness was more than happy to have me with him and many a Golf Club would let me caddy for him after making him pay a fee for me.

In Hawaii

At the Royal Kaanapali Golf Course in Maui, Hawaii, His Highness paid green fees just so I could sit on the Buggy! I did though drive it and at one time thought I was Sterling Moss as I drove the buggy across a small road! This is a truly beautiful Course. It has panoramic views of both the Pacific Ocean and the vast Maui Mountains and it has wide fairways and undulating greens. So guess what? There was yours truly taking in the scenery, looking at the beautiful birds and the lovely trees and ignoring the golfer for whom she was to caddy.

In Ireland

At least at the Kaanapali Golf Course I had a buggy. On other Courses I have had to carry the huge Golf Bag and walk around the Golf Course. Too often I would stop to rest. The surroundings would be so magnificent that I would spend a bit of time taking it all in and by the time I picked the bag and walked on His Highness was out of sight! Once, in Ireland, His Highness played at the Connemara Golf Course. It had a mountain range on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. It was, in my words, an uphill and downhill course.

His Highness was playing with the Police Chief and I was the caddy for His Highness. As the Police Chief and His Highness went up the hill, my attention was drawn to the beach. I walked to the beach and looked at the flotsam and jetsam. Oh! What splendid treasure! I was transfixed and I stood there gazing. Suddenly I heard a call from His Highness. He needed a club! I practically ran up the hill, carrying the golf bag. I don’t think the Police Chief was too impressed with my caddying skills!

In England

On another occasion, I caddied for His Highness as he played with friends at the Forest of Arden Golf and Country Club, in Meriden, Warwickshire, England. It too was a beautiful course! I truly enjoyed walking round the Course but as usual was distracted by something other than golf! This time it was a big family of geese. There was Papa and Mama Geese and lots of baby geese walking behind each other. What a picture this made! Gracefully making their way through a part of the Course, the Geese family made a wonderful picture of family bonding!

In Thailand, Indonesia and New Zealand

In Phuket, Thailand, His Highness played at a golf course where the caddies were attractive Thai women. Needless to say. I was not allowed to caddy for him then! Instead, I was allowed to walk around the Course with the players. Likewise, in Bali I walked with His Highness as he played at the Bali Hendra Golf Course. The lush vegetation around this course makes it magnificent. What’s more the Course nestles in the crater of a volcano. In New Zealand I caddied for His Highness as he played on many beautiful Courses. One very interesting one was in Rotorua and it had bubbling mud pools, steam vents, a thermal crater and sulphur dome. Boy! Did it make the Course interesting!

The Highest Golf Course In the World

I would like to end this post with a mention of the game His Highness played with the Golf Pro at the Gulmarg Golf Course. This is considered to be the highest Green Golf Course in the world and it is located in Kashmir, at the Himalayas. Although I did not caddy for His Highness, it was an interesting match as, at the 18th hole, all the staff, including the pony wallahs in the area, sat and cheered both His Highness and the Pro as they played. The staff were seated along the sides and their cheers were most memorable!

As I have said in previous posts life is wonderful, made more so by the people you meet and the experiences that you encounter. This short account reveals how exciting life can be and how fortunate we are to travel and see so much more of this world. I leave you with this advice: Embrace your experiences, enjoy and love Life!


  1. Thank you, Ms Zaibun, for this beautiful article. As I read your wonderful description of the surroundings, I was almost there … me being a rather visual learner, I am glad to have a great imagination too. Here’s wishing you all the very best for a fantastic 2015 and I look forward to your next inspiration.

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