Date archives "October 2008"

What To Do When You’re Bored Out of Your Mind

For the past week I have been going out of my tiny little mind with an illness that causes me to sleep for 20 hours a day, and think about going back to sleep for the other four. Unsurprisinly, my motivation for anything crashed so I was reduced to trolling stupid sites for cheap kicks.

I came across a very bizarre one the other day called Can I Has Cheezburger. And yes, it really has to be seen to be believed. Here are some of my favourite pictures from the site…






Check Out My Wheels!

my wheels for getting around in Chennai

Check out this bad boy! These are my wheels to and from the office each day. It does 0-20 mph in 2 minutes, pollutes like a chemical factory and sounds like a cat in a blender. It has almost as much power as a washing machine and 4 inch alloys.

This is the pimped out version, the banana leaves stuck to the side are this seasons must have for all self respecting tuk-tuk drivers. As if a white man in a tuk-tuk needs any more attention drawn to himself while riding through the mean streets of Chennai!

To the right is my usual driver, Sundar. He has an excuse for every occasion: too much traffic, too less traffic, too raining, too less raining, 5 kids, 3 kids, 4 kids and parents, family dog, family cow, high petrol prices, low petrol prices, too late, too early, too far, too less far. No matter what, he’ll rise to the occasion and find a reason to charge me extra. It’s a special class they have in tuk-tuk school: how to charge the filthy rich foreigner more and make him feel guilty about it.

But what a way to get to work and back 😀

What My Mum Thought About India

A few weeks back, my Mum came to visit me in India. What did she think about it? Her thoughts? This is what she sent me below…

Some observations from my trip to India:

  • All the stray dogs look the same – is there only one breed of dogs in India?
  • I couldn’t believe that there are still people drawing water from pumps in the street
  • You don’t see young couple out together or on dates – pre-marriage courtship is not part of the culture
  • Toilets – what the bucket, jug and hosepipe all about
  • I only saw 2 women car drivers in Chennai
  • Hugging and hand-shaking is a no-no
  • Families of 3 or 4 on a motor bike – scary
  • Education is very important from an early age
  • Crime rates appear to be low – may have something to do with lack of available alcohol
  • There are no pubs or bars as in European cities just for drinking although you can buy alcohol in hotels and restaurants
  • Lots of things taste sweet which shouldn’t, like milk, bread, tea and cereals – they love sugar

What I missed from home:

  • Being able to clean my teeth with tap water
  • Carpet especially in the bedroom
  • Soft mattresses and a duvet
  • Bread, milk and tea without sugar
  • Quietness especially at night
  • Radio 2
  • Variations in daily weather
  • Mosquito free bedrooms
  • Windows you can see out of instead of being fitted with bars, frosted glass and AC units
  • Just paying for things without bartering

What I miss about India:

  • The sunshine and warmth
  • The delicious and varied food
  • The friendliness of everyone I met
  • The respect and warm welcome I was given
  • The colours – clothes, food, shops all so vivid and bright
  • Learning about different cultures
  • Seeing goats and cows wandering the streets untethered
  • Watching children on the streets amuse themselves for hours without PSP, X-Boxes or Wii’s – just sand, sticks, balls, old tyres and scaffolding!
  • The tranquility and simple life of the backwaters in Kerala
  • The spectacular sunsets in Goa
  • The cost of living!

Dude, Where’s My Monsoon?

It’s Monsoon season here in Tamil Nadu. Except the monsoon rains are conspicuously missing (useless geekish fact #394: the word monsoon refers to the weather pattern, not the actual rain that occurs during the monsoon).

When I was here in 2006, the monsoon season started as soon as I arrived and finished the moment I left. It’s quite incredible, one day it’s fine, hot and sunny, then next day it rains. Non-stop. For 3 months.

One of the things I wasn’t looking forward to when I came here was the monsoon because the rain just makes it really difficult to get around if you don’t have your own transport. Trying to get a tuk-tuk is a mission at the best of times, trying to do that when it’s bucketing it down with rain that’s already up to your armpits is nigh on impossible.

The whole of Chennai turns in to something like the Venice of India, streets are turned in to rivers, there’s mud every where, you can’t go outside because you’ll drown in the wall of water.

So, although I’m sure it’s some global warming catastrophe and the lack of monsoon is doing untold damage to the local farming industry, for me, it’s brilliant. The longer the rains stay away, the easier it is for me to get to the office and back, do my food shopping at the weekend and generally go out and about.

Infact, I’m selfishly hoping that this is the year where it doesn’t rain.

Oh bugger.

It’s just started raining 🙁