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Archive for July, 2007

Mumbai and UAE: some pics

Back home and back into the old routine. had a nice relaxing weekend after a big night out with the office guys on Friday. Started off pretty crap with my workmates (unintentionally I’m sure) continueing to speak in hindi for 2 hours which they KNOW I don’t understand so well.. but after dinner we had some fun dancing so that was ok.. still, one of the not so fun parts of being a ‘foreigner’.

Have uploaded a few photos (click to expand them).. first some street scenes of Mumbai-

This first one I love: in the foreground we have the rodent of central and north Mumbai – the auto-rickshaw, being passed by the jazzy and very popular Maruti Suzuki Swift car. In the background are three billboards – the first is for the movie ‘Guru’ which is based on the life of Dhirubhai Ambani, one of the big industrialists of the seventies and eighties who started a conglomerate his sons are now continuing in competition to each other; starring in the moving are the famous Bollywood royal couple Abhishek Bachchan and Ashwariya Rai. Above that we have a Newspaper advert showing that Harry potter mania is also alive and well in Mumbai; and above that we have an advert for the latest season of ‘Indian Idol’, of which I think the final was last week.july-007.jpg

Here’s a pic of one of the young magazine selling boys who peddle their wares at many of the trafficv signals around the city:

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and here’s the trusty fiat 1100 taxi, found in every corner and down every street in the city:

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Next is Abu Dhabi (very clean in comparison!) The Airport, the designer of which I think took some very strong LSD:

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and last but not least, a giant mosque being built in the desert on the outskirts of the city:

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Back in the UAE

salam aleikum.

(sneaking off a post from between meetings in Dubai again.. )

It is HOT here. Mumbai is cool and breezy compared to this thick heavy sandy heat. It’s around the low forties during the days and doesnt really seem to drop too much at night, probably to low thirties. Every building is heavily airconned to freezing which makes walking outside feel like you’ve walked into a wall, it really hits you. Plus there is kind of a sandy haze over the hole place, reducing visibility. It really is a contrast between colourful, wet, monsoony Mumbai and I must say i’m glad I dont live here. Still, nice to visit though. And the food is out of this world. i think I could live my whole life off just hummus, bread, tabouleh and olives. YUM. Oh, and some red wine of course.

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banksy gets me 5000

well sometime yesterday I managed to pass the 5000 visits mark.. after just 6 months!

I think I really owe my fame to two posts in particular.. the first was the one about ‘the institute of marriage’ that was linked by Desipundit and so got a few hundred visits a day for a while there.

the second is the one about Banksy, the Graffitti artist.  Apparently ol’ Banksy is quite a popular man and I get a lot of people coming to my site after searching for him.. on Tuesday I had 70 visits just from google hits on banksy. So you wanna get more hits on your site? Start naming your posts after popular figures and watch your ratings climb!

In general I have been a bit slack lately which is mainly due to being out of town and busy with work. in fact as I do all my internet-ing while at work, there is a direct correlation between number of postings per week and volume of work I am doing. So April and May were super boring months in the office and I could post at least one or two items everyday.. so lets all vote for me getting less work.. !

Have come into the office for an hour today while hubby is finishing up some work with his accountant and then we are off to the suburbs. I’ve joined a group of ‘foreign wives of Indians’ in Mumbai and today we have a lunch with all the husbands and kids. I’ve only been to one small meeting before where I met 5 or 6 women and it’s amazing how much we all have in common.. we all have great stories about trying to communicate with our drivers and maids and finding out how to get gas bottles connected, plus how our families dealt with our marriage and how we get on with our Indian in laws. It’s really great to meet people in the same boat, so to speak, as usually the expats that I meet are here on a one or two year contract and tend to keep themselves quite distanced from Indian culture. Many of the women in the group have been here for many years and have children who all know each other. this is great for the kids as it means they get to be around a kind of support group for themsleves too, as they are all the children of mixed marriages, something that could potentially be quite isolating. So I think the group will be a really great support – for the husbands too, i’m sure they all have stories about the funny things their wives have done while first trying to fit into life here!

Have made it to yoga twice this week and feel my body clock is back on track and can cope with the 6am wake up! Unfortuantly I am back of to the Emirates on Tuesday for a few days and I’ll be out of whack again.. this time I am determined to keep up the practise and will find a hotel pool to sit and do my asanas by in the morning. The instructor broached the topic of the rubber tube up the nose today.. I grimaced and told him I need some more time.. the whole water through the sinuses is going well but I think I’ll just stick to that for the time being. bleurgh. 

 

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i’m back!

had a good week in the Emirates, contract is signed and I will probably be visiting once a month now.. can’t complain about that! Spent the weekend back in Mumbai, showing a visiting colleague around Mumbai. The Mumbai tour has been refined to a fine art now, I have the route plotted and the order memoraised. I can adjust my route for a younger audience, a more delicate soul or a monsoon day and still my guest will have good insight into the city.. I think I was a tour guide in a past life!

Plus when I’ve got a guest it means I get to partake in the fabulous Mumbai restaurants, all on the company’s account! So Friday night was Masala Kraft in the Taj after cocktails at Dome; Saturday was the garlic butter crab extravaganza at Trishna (my arteries are just recovering); Sunday was champagne and sushi for lunch at Tiffin and Monday (in Kolkata) was fabulous lamb and Aussie Pinot Noir at Peshwari – undoubtedly the best Indian restaurant in the country, and thank god it’s pretty much at every Sheraton Hotel) . YUM and WOW, I have just put on another delicious kilo. I have yet to decide whether I regret the kilo or not because food here is just too damn good.  *sigh*

To those questions in the recent comments about exercise, I guiltily concede that yes – tennis, swimming, jogging, ipod training and yoga have all gone flying out the window, and down the gutter with our monsoon rains. Yoga will start again this week.. I have the guilt of hearing my mother in law going every morning at 6.30am and my body clock should be back on track by end of this week to allow me to open my eyes at 6. It’s hard work being surrounded by fabulous food so often, i’m going have to really get exercising if I want it to continue!

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au revoir

I am leaving for Dubai again this weekend and will be there for a week so won’t be updating this for a while.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

(and hope the springboks kick some wallaby butt in the rugby tomorrow)

I’ll leave you with some the latest funny pics from www.icanhascheezburger.com

 

 

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yoga

MIL and I have started yoga classes this week. We had our ‘yoga doctor’ consultation yesterday, where our personal routine for next 3 months was given out. The Yoga Centre is a big old building on Marine Drive. Women and men have separate areas to practise and there are no ‘classes’ as such, just a place for you to practise. For the first week our instructor will help us with poses and then we can just come in at any time and go about our routine. Its a nice way to do things and the room where it is held is very quiet and calm.

For my first week I have to perform ‘Jala neti’, a sinus cleansing process, before i start the asanas. This involves leaning over a sink, tilting your head to one side, shoving a little jug with a long spout up one nostril and then tilting the jug so the lightly salted water inside flows into your nostril and then comes out the other one. It feels very strange and took a bit to get used to. If you have your head at the wrong angle then some of it comes down your throat and it made me feel like retching a bit. But overall it was quite interesting and will hopefully help to clear up the hayfever/rhinitis/stuffiness that I often suffer from. I did it a couple of times on each side and felt quite cleansed afterwards.

I will just do this for a week and then I go onto ‘Rubber neti’. I wasn’t too worried about this until I looked it up on the internet today. Apparently someone is going to help me insert a rubber tube up my nose and then pull it out my mouth. They then move it back and forth to cleanse my sinuses. Bleurgh.. I have a feeling that I am going to end up throwing up over whoever has to do this for me. It makes me shudder just to think about it.. but I am going to have an open mind and give it a go I guess.

I am definitly not going to do anything involving urine however. I found this site which outlines all the cleansing processes and I can’t say I’d be too keen to try the Swamutra or Gomutra Neti Processes! (cow urine.. up your nose!)

But, rubber tubes aside, I think the yoga will be great for me – for my weight control, moodiness, concentration and energy levels especially.  And I’ll have the cleanest nostrils in town and that can’t be a bad thing!

And don’t worry, I will keep you all fully updated with how the rubber hose up my nose really feels!

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