Wednesday, 31 August 2011

My Weekend Break

Ah, yes. So it seems in Hampi one can find Indians who stare. Even though I was travelling with a tall, pretty, blonde, Russian lady - my friend, Miss Piggy - damn near all stares were directed at yours truly. 

Now, I already anticipated the possibility that the stares were because people couldn't understand why a tall, pretty, blonde would possibly keep company with the likes of me. So I compared the frequency and kinds of stares I got exploring the Hampi ruins alone with those I got exploring the ruins with Miss Piggy. About the same. Absolutely fascinating.

Less maddening than the daggers directed my way by the well-to-do black women in the People's Republic of Cambridge (Mass.) when I'm with a non-black female acquaintance; but also less amusing than being regarded with envious eyes by ex-pats when I go out with Lunch-Meet.

I was also surprised by the ways I observed some Indian tourists treating the ruins. I saw people pulling at statues, and/or climbing on them, littering, and even relieving themselves. As if the attitude was that personal enjoyment is of paramount importance; that it mattered not what was left for other people to enjoy as long as they got theirs.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Just Because

Not usually a Country and Western man, but me likey this one.The music video doesn't do justice to the song. I suspect that's because at the time young miss Rimes lacked the experience necessary to look lonesome enough. Oh well. No matter.

Friday, 26 August 2011


Our two interns have left so the office is super small and super quiet; consulting dept. is down to little old me and my supervisor again. Hope to get a new victim intern soon.

Still lonely, still missing She on occasion. Not just someone-to-hold-lonely though. I think I actually feel existentially lonely too at times. Missing old friends.

Finally managed to get a well-earned break and traveled to a place called Hampi in northern Karnataka. Absolutely beautiful. Pretty much spent two days in the sun and have a case of sunburn, HA! I burn so rarely that the pain and itching always, always comes as a total surprise.The sunburn hypothesis never even enters my mind until my skin starts peeling en masse like I got hit with a few gamma rays.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Sociological Images

Peeped one of Lunch-meet's magazines the other day. The Indian edition of Elle. In it was an article about transracial adoptions with the following lede:
Throughout her childhood, her white foster mother's assurances that she was "not really black", made author Precious Williams believe that her skin colour was something unpleasant. That's why reading about transracial adoptions by celebrities fills her with dread.

Yes, folks. This was the illustration they chose to put above the title. Ho ho!

And the piece de resistance, a bloody advert for skin-lightening sunscreen on the page right after the article, because, folks, dark skin really is unpleasant. All one need do is feign horror at those who express such a view openly (and, possibly, keep your fairness cream out of plain sight).

In Which I Vent My Spleen

I am at the end of my tether with these fucks at Vodafone. They've been promising me 3G for the past 4 months, and every time I call ir’s been: next month sir, for sure. It’s only had no reception a few times. Most of the time it works fine but the speed is really bloody slow, which means that I can barely use Skype.

I was quite pissed off last weekend, because my sister and several friends finally had the time to get on Skype. And I couldn't even chat to them because the data transfer ground to a halt over Saturday and Sunday. Apparently 3G is coming out tomorrow, but right now I don’t trust anything that comes from Vodafone, and I’m all Sunk-costs biased up, and averse to the fumduckery of other service providers to jump ship. 

It amazes me that they’re allowing their name to be put to the fiasco that is the Indian operation. How is it that in a country that exports thousands of engineers, this company can’t sort reliable connections for people in its so-called Silicon Valley?

Update: 3G has apparently been rolled out and - surprise surprise - I still have no access to it. I fear what might happen if I pay a visit to the local Vodafone office.

Food Therapy

A few days ago I hit a low point in my cultural adjustment. I'd occasional feelings of resent towards the walk to and from work through a miasma of toxic fumes; on filthy streets, playing dodgems with dumped rubbish, cars, auto-rickshaws, motorcycles, dead things (I've seen more bodies than Quincy M.D), and excrement. 

I also hated not being able to cook what I like. So today I went on a splurge and bought some of my ingredients: oyster sauce, soy sauce, chilli bean sauce, and yellow bean sauce. I made some rice, chicken braised in oyster sauce, green beans tossed in chilli bean sauce, and a red and gold omelette. I saved the stock from the chicken, and used it to make a good old red stew - a Nigerian dish - which I've been having with rice.

They Were Surely Mad

It’s dark. I was heading to my friend's apartment, and walking up the stairs behind an Indian lady...