Bangalore is home to more than 25,000 stray dogs, and while the animal welfare people are doing all they can to cull the ever-increasing population, it seems to me that the ex-pat population is more than making up for their decrease by an increase in Bangalore conceived babies. It first started with some friends last year, who came to Bangalore for six months, and nine months later went home with more than a few sarees and ganesha's as a souvenir; then another set of friends, already with two kids, bred another one in Bangalore before they left town, just for good measure; our newest friends (you know who you are) were affirmed non-parents, drinking too much and riding ponies, until the Bangalore breeding bug got them and they were pregnant before you could say, ok horn... So, what is it with Bangalore? My theory is that there's something in the water. Let me rephrase that. There are MANY things in the water, much of which you don't want to know about, and which is why I use bottled water for cooking pasta, take hot water from the office-type cooler for cups of tea, and use bowls and bowls of same boiling water to wash my veggies in pre-cooking. Maybe it's too much of one sex hormone or another in the water, or maybe it's the relaxed lifestyle that most women enjoy post their crazy western career, and the spare time they have to play wifey. Whatever it is, it appears to be spreading faster than a dose of gardia. Watch out yet-to-arrive childless ex-pat couples, you could get more in Bangalore than you bargained for!
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
In a country so concerned for its morals and general sexual repression, I was surprised to see this ad for something or other in the Kingfisher Airlines magazine last week. What surprised me even more, was the featured gentleman's appendage which looked a little more than digitally enhanced... and a little much to take while I was nibbling on my sheesh kebab! As if by coincidence, a few days later I was reading an article on secrets of the advertising industry and lo and behold, it turns out that during fashion shoots, the less than endowed male members of the team are enhanced with a little dampened white bread! Why white bread? It's soft and moldable texture leaves no tell-tale lumps or creases! Brings a whole new meaning to 'Mother's Pride' (for our English readers...) or 'Wonder Bread' (for our US brothers!)
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Ok, I know I am far enough away already, but I've entered a contest on Concierge.com, the Conde Nast Traveller website, and the prize is a trip to Thailand! Only snag is, I think you need to vote for me :) So if you feel up to it, check out my page here. Who knows, I may take you with me if I win!!!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Ok, so I won't go banging on about the Bangalore Mirror 'Ask the Sexpert' column for much longer, I promise.... but I don't think they realize how funny today's first entry was...
I am a 36 year old married man and my wife is 28. These days my wife and I experience body pain and backache after intercourse.
The doc's three words of wisdom?
CHANGE YOUR MATTRESS
Monday, September 10, 2007
There are many times in India when you think to yourself, 'you couldn't make this up,' and what happened to us on Saturday is at the top of this tree. In fact, I would go so far as to say it's the funniest thing we've experienced here and it would definitely rank #1 on the list of 'weird insurance claims...' So, we are driving (or rather, being driven) to lunch on Saturday when out of nowhere, a swerving motorbike comes crashing into the left side of our car (he's over taking us, but bear in mind, there appear to be no rules here about which side you overtake on...) The reason he's swerving - we all too quickly realize - is to avoid the oncoming cantering copulating cow complete with bull attached firmly to her buttocks. It's not hard to see from her expression, and gait, that she wishes he WEREN'T attached to her rear end. The poor motorbike rider only just missed the mating mayhem and luckily for us and him there was no damage to car, bike, or passengers. Sadly, there is no word to date from the cow or bull!
Friday, September 07, 2007
So, after 18 months of failing miserably, I have finally appeared on Page Three of the Bangalore Times - not to be mistaken with Page Three of The Sun, that veritable shining star of newspaper publishing in the UK. No, this is India, and it's an all covered affair (the only breasts you'll see here are those of a chicken) and is more akin to the New York Post's Page Six, featuring pictures of the latest and greatest goings on in Bangalore's social scene. But its captions are what keep us coming back to it; The Sun's sub-editors would crash at their computers if they saw some of these.... ours was 'Fun Time!' Fairly innocuous. Our friend Angie, who was pictured drinking a glass of wine, was embellished with the highly imaginative caption 'Sip It!' The creative scope these guys use shows no bounds! I'm a little dismayed about the whole thing though. I was until now famous for being the only one of our social circle NOT to have featured on this page; instead, I was in the sports pages, pictured for actually DOING something, other than eating and drinking. Here's hoping it's another 18 months 'til my 'fun times' face graces the pages again.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
I found out today that I had been 'honorably mentioned' (is there any other way???) in the Pilsner Urquell international photography awards 2007. While I am not alone by far, it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling! The winning photographs are just stunning and something to aspire to. This, on top of being exhibited at the inaugural Bangalore Photography Festival earlier in the year - David Bailey, watch out!
So, no sooner do I mention Revels among my top 10 favourite things than they get recalled for having, of all things, rubber in them! As mentioned previously, Revels have been cited as the 'russian roulette of sweets' as you never know what flavour you're going to get - malteser (source of the rubber issue), chocolate, coffee, orange, toffee, and the newly added raisin (or raisinette as my american spouse calls them). Nasty raisins were no doubt introduced to replace the peanut version to which everyone and his dog is now allergic; funny, there weren't such allergies 30 years ago! And what happened to coconut??? I had a little flashback to the coconut flavour this morning as, when grooming my horse, I added coconut oil to his tail to make it shiny and tangle free; Indian women and men swear by it, so why not my little pony??? What with that and the shampoo for 'puppies and kittens' that I'm washing him with, he's definitely turning into a 'girlie horse.' So, back to Revels and their recall; better to be on the safe side, I say. I remember many a product recall from my days of consumer PR - a military like operation involving every department of the company's organization, many outgoing faxes and calls (yes, these things even happened pre-email and pre-internet; at least today, most companies will have 'dark sites' ready to go live at the press of a button), and a lot of hard work. And why did they always seem to happen on a Friday evening just as you were sloping off to the pub! Get just a little part of it wrong and your product is damaged for life; get it right and you win awards. That's the way the cookie, or should it be Revel, crumbles.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Being in a foreign land thousands of miles from home presents with all manner of new and wonderful things to try - the travel, the food, the drink, the culture - but there is 'stuff' you still need that you can't get. I previously listed five things I miss from home, and now in the interests of knowledge sharing with newcomers, and as a reference for potential visitors who always ask, 'what can I bring you?, I'm ready to tackle specifics. It pleases me greatly to say that boxes of these previously under-appreciated consumer packaged goods are piling up in my mother-in-law's spare room pending our return to collect them. Of course, if you can find them here, let us know.
Top 10 (in no particular order...)
1. Giant tubs of Advil - in a land where buying two or three painkillers is the norm, it's refreshing to be able to get your hands on two or three HUNDRED pills in one pack. In fact, bring anything pill-like that you can get in large quantities, vitamins, anti-histamine, etc., for convenience only.
2. Cortizone cream - I need at least a 50g tube, or three, from the US to counteract those mozzie bites. Even in the UK you can only buy the tiniest of tubes - and their sale is restricted!
3. Tampax - never seen one in India, and have looked in all manner of places. In fact, I've been known to supply many a spare one or six to the expat ladies of Bangalore. Bring plenty with you and hope your bag doesn't get wet en route...
4. Solid stick anti-perspirant deodorant - this has caused all manner of problems for both sexes as spray is the delivery method of choice here, and usually just in deodorant form. Nasty, man. Thanks to Karen for getting me out of a recent smelly spell with her direct-from-the-US Dove.
5. Anything by L'Occitane (particularly Verbena fragrance), Aveda (Phomollient and Witch Hazel Hairspray), and Molton Brown (especially hand wash) which can be conveniently purchased in their Healthrow spa.
6. John Frieda Blonde Volumizing Shampoo - yes, there is shampoo a-plenty here, just a lack of blondes needing volume. Big thing here is hair fall issues not hair full issues. (I think John Frieda was married to Lulu.)
7. Swiffer dusters - may god strike me down for getting excited about this, but I hear they're a marvel for blinds and fans... can't wait.
8. Stock cubes/gravy granules - not a whiff of them on the subcontinent and making your own is very 1980's, so stock up at Sainsbury, every pun intended.
9. Revels - a bag of English chocolate treats containing six polarizing flavours, eating which is like a 'game of russian roulette' as you never know which one you'll get... big among horse-riders and those with a sense of adventure.
10. Kleenex Cottonelle Moist Botty Wipes - enough said.