I’m told by my team mates that there are plenty of advantages of being a foreigner in India. For example, they claim that whenever we go out for dinner together, they get better service in restaurants. Now that’s not for me to comment on because I’ve got nothing to compare it against. I’m friendly to waiting staff and they mostly seem to be friendly to me.
If someone said to you why not spend nearly a thousand pounds to fly four hours into the middle of a desert to look at a rock, you might politely enquire what medication that person is currently taking.
Incidentally, that’s exactly the reaction I got from my wife when I suggested we forgo a trip the Great Barrier Reef and go to Uluru instead while on our Australia holiday.
It’s been a couple of weeks since my blog post on what happened before, during and immediately after the Chennai rains. What was meant as an update for family and friends on what was going on (OK, mostly to reassure my Mum, who does worry so), seemed to have captured the attention of Chennaites around the world.
There has been no let up in the relief efforts of people all across Chennai. While now we can say that with a very few exceptions, most people have been rescued from their homes or the water has receded far enough for them to get out, rehabilitation is in full swing.
I don’t think November and December of 2015 are going to be two months that I forget for the rest of my life. Every year in Chennai, the Northeast Monsoon (NEM) pours rain all over the city. When I first arrived in Chennai in 2008, I remember that like clockwork the rains would come during the night and then clear up by morning. The last few years, the rains have been erratic and last year it was as if the NEM didn’t even happen.
Listen up Internet. Can you help my wife and I? We want to go somewhere for Christmas but we just don’t know where! The only requirement is that it’s in India, we shouldn’t have been there before and there should be some things to do or places to explore.
This will be my fifth year outside of England for Christmas. Last year my wife and I decided to switch things up a little and booked ourselves into the Hilton Colombo. She was working for the Hilton so we got a nice staff rate on the regular price. To top it off, the head chef at Hilton Colombo was British so he laid on the best Christmas dinner I’ve had in a long time.
Living in Chennai, one is never too far away from an animal of some kind. Whether it’s a street dog or an animal more common to a farm than a city, the city is teeming with local fauna.
Every day, Darwin’s survival of the fittest plays out as disease, competition for food and danger from other animals all look to weed out the weakest.
In particular, the animals tend to be at their most vulnerable when they have a new born litter to look after.
My team mate is known for being the resident crazy dog-lady in the office.
Now somewhere out there is a lady with twenty dogs, dog pictures on the wall, doggie slippers, t-shirts with dogs on, crockery with dog pictures, a poster hanging on the wall that says ’15 reasons why a dog is better than a husband’, and a bumper sticker on her car that says “I ❤ dogs“. This lady would look at my team mate and say “Whoa, steady on, I think you might have a problem”.
Tovo is a fairly new restaurant in Chennai on RK Salai just opposite the Woodlands and Savera hotels. I had the opportunity to check it out one Sunday evening with my wife and our friends. I didn’t read any reviews about the place before hand, I just knew that it was vaguely related to fusion food – whatever that means.
Having dined there, I can tell you that what it actually offers is chicken and it’s basically Indian version of Nandos.
“Meuw, meuw, meuw, meuw, meuw” came a squeaking noise from the bushes.
“Hey, it’s a little kitten!” my wife exclaimed. “Are you sure? It sounds more like a high pitch chirp from a bird” I replied, confident in my avian chirp recognition. A motorbike zoomed past, its headlight briefly illuminated the bush and silhouetted a tiny black kitten not more than a few weeks old. It punched a big hole in my bird argument so I let it slide.