Archive | April, 2011

super strong beer.

30 Apr

sometimes after two consecutive six day work weeks – you just need several giant beers to calm you down. the beers here are 650 ml and they look like bottles of wine. mindblowing.

650 ml of awesomeness

so although it’s not saturday night yet at home, i’d like to cheers you – all my wonderful readers – for the love, support and sense of humor you have displayed during my transition to this crazy country of dust and spice.

cheers!

 …now go away so i can drink in peace!

bribery is my friend.

30 Apr

today is a big day.  the biggest ever, perhaps.

today, i cunningly took from the pages of the “brenna donoghue guide to relationship building and being awesome”, and bribed the bleeping bleep out of my coworkers with cookies to get them to like me.

just in case you aren’t up to date on the developing story of awkwardness at my office (how dare you, by the way), the quick run down is that it’s been a challenge to build good connections with my colleagues here. i’ve been calling it my hideous regression back into high school.  and if we know anything kids, we know that i hated high school.

so here is the bribing bounty, purchased last night at a delicious sweet shop near mr. s’s house.

they tasted like shortbread. don't ask me what they're called though.

and now, loyal followers, i can confidently say that bribery works!

making my way around our 4-story office building with the sweets i managed to get a smile out of almost everyone. i even had a few quick conversations with some colleagues who i hadn’t met yet. ok, so they mainly asked me about generic topics like the weather (“it’s hot here, no?”) and the food (“how are you finding the spice?”), but it still counts. it does!

as i distributed the confections almost everyone asked “what are these for?”, to which i said: “because it’s saturday!  we should at least get sweets if we have to work on saturday.”

they laughed – maybe out of pity, i’m unclear – but either way i think i’m one step closer to becoming one of them.

ok brenna, now i ask with the greatest of anticipation: what comes after the cookie bribery?

it’s a bird, it’s a plane.

29 Apr

it’s actually neither – it’s my mom.

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so when i was a teenager i gave her a superhero name – maximus – because i thought it would be funny and potentially somewhat enraging to her. at 16 i figured that if she was going to act like she was in power all the time, she may as well have a name that fit.

although my (failed) teenage rebellion logic has mostly since left me – the nickname maximus has stuck to my mom. so much so that a few years ago she changed her license plate to read: “maximus1”. i’m not kidding.

(and as a sidenote, this year for my dad’s 60th birthday he got a matching license plate reading “grantus” – but that tomfoolery is a story for another day…)

all joking aside, i can clearly see now in my inifite adult-dom that maximus has always deserved her superhero name. she’s hardcore in eveything she does, just like a caped-crusader or man-in-black or green hornet thingy would be!

and i love her for this – because while it means shes stubborn and set in her ways –  it also means that she loves me harder than anyone else. uh… sorry darling husband, she birthed me. without drugs.

all of this is to say:

happy birthday maximus.  i’m loving you in india – where it’s now april 29th.

i have gas.

28 Apr

no…not that kind of gas, you weirdos. as if i would post that on such a public forum.  i have gas: fuel! flame! fire!

for the last hour i have literally been practicing turning the gas on…and then off.  on and then off. all the while marvelling in my new-found ability to cook real meals. i’m starting to understand why people become pyromaniacs.

so, in honor of this truly momentous end to the election fall-out which resulted in a) me ignorantly working an extra day this week and b) not having any cooking fuel – i present my first meal:

ok so i know it doesnt look that impressive (eggplant, corn, peppers, butter and onion over rice) but since i’ve been living off peanut butter sandwiches, processed cheese slices and apple juice since last wednesday – this is a frigging feast.

and mr. s even joined me, since he so adeptly negotiated the fuel from the evil bengali gas-hoarders.

this was his first foray into ‘canadian food’. like the guys at the investment firm a few weeks ago, mr. s keeps asking me what a staple canadian diet is. i remain stumped to this line of (constant) questioning, so tonight i said: “turkey dinner and fajitas.”

what a crap answer, i know.

yes, i realize that fajitas are mexican. and actually, turkey dinner is oddly hard to describe in an appetizing way. (“so first you stuff a bird’s ass, and then you remove said ass-stuffing and eat it whilst proudly displaying the bird in the middle of table…” etc.) so overall not a great job  – but at least it’s better then saying poutine.

here i am devouring my feast:

i am most definitely aware that in this picture i look like i would eat your children. i’m just really excited, m’kay?

the return of jc.

27 Apr

well the jc in question this time is none other than the (bastard) lizard stalker juan carlo himself.  he graced me with his presence again yesterday evening, so i took the opportunity to get a close up of the sultan of creep himself – for your pleasure of course.

let’s play spot the creeper:

your prize for finding him is an intimate moment alone basking in his overall sleek figure and panic-inducing eyes. don’t look too closely or he’ll infiltrate your brains:

today i came home to find him lurking (again) over my window. so, acting as if i were a capable adult, i promptly ran to the kitchen, grabbed a wooden spoon and chased his royal lameness out the window. his successful eviction was followed with me yelling and pointing at him through the glass screaming “that’s right! that’s right!

yeah, maybe not so “adult” after all. (how awesome is it that adult is in air quotes, as if it’s a concept that doesn’t actually exist…ha!)

anyway, five days ago i had to get tapas to chase jc out of my room, but now i’ve gone all rambo on his ass.  see – this is progress.

onion tartlet.

27 Apr
well chickens, there are times in your life when you feel like this:

feeling ready to party.

 and then, unfortunately for all, there are these times:

feeling (and looking) not so awesome.

sidenote: if you read the comments to this blog, you know that bra-head al is a little infamous around the team goodtimes family. in addition to being a stellar .jpg, bra-head al is a computer print-out popsicle-stick puppet that lives with hannah in florida. it usually makes an appearance in conjunction with one or 40 bottles of tequilla. ugh, sadly that’s not even my bra – just so you have the full effect.

anyway…

so weirdly enough today was a little of column a and a little of column b: feeling both like party dress al and like bra-on-head al. the good goes first.

starting early this morning i spent all day in the field experiencing microfinance in action for the first time ever.  what this meant is that i went to observe field officers collecting repayment from the clients at their homes or businesses well as visiting the microfinance institution’s branches.

at the risk of overdoing it (“the hills are alive with the sound of music…”), there really is no way to make anyone understand how amazing today was. and frankly i’m too lazy to try and you’re likely too lazy to read it, so let’s just call it mostly even for now.

ugh, on second thought since i can literally see my dad’s head exploding at my lack of detail, let me at least say the following. today i truly saw the depth of life here – the colors, smells and noises that define the people.  they were curious, warm, smart and really funny – which was wonderfully endearing.

today made my choice to come here seem that much more validated and i hope this is only the beginning.

but then…shit got sour.  “it’s like there’s rock bottom, then 50 feet of crap, and then me.” – well said, rachel greene. (although i’m maybe not at the below crap level quite yet…)

i’ve been feeling kind of funky the last 48 hours – and no, not jesus funky – as a weirdness creeped up on me. (and a further no, i’m not talking about juan carlo, although i should be because that bastard is one creepy creeper.) i’m talking about a round of homesickness.

this affliction many a traveller faces materialized today when mr. s called to say that because of the elections in west bengal tomorrow, i won’t be able to get my gas connection (read: cooking fuel) until thursday.  added onto this is the fact that both my bathrooms (read: toilets) are now not working – so i have no way to do my duties. doodies. doodles.

the alternative.

at home, people would care if i didn’t have access to a toilet 24/7 – here, not so much.

in the words of phoebe, perhaps this is : “part of, you know, the whole them-not-liking-you extravaganza!” really, is it possible they’ve figured me out already?

so i’m not sure where all this leaves things for today: feeling good or…not.

regardless, i do know this: my tv still works and i have 2 hours of syndicated “friends” episodes to look forward to each day before work. their lovable hijinks are always there to help me sort out all these complicated emotions.

and thank goodness, because seriously how else would i deal?

wood burning fire.

25 Apr

i’ve decided to take the bold step and admit that i need some help getting by here. and why not – labor is cheap and it creates employment for those who would (maybe) otherwise not have a job.

so i have hired a maid to come daily 7 – 9 am as well as a  handyman person to help with odd jobs.  these wonderful people are all  in addition to making use of the building’s amazing caretaker named tapas.

however, the most exciting news is that i have hired a laundry-man! since i am the main laundress in my house in canada (let’s face it, boys can’t fold) – this is a seriously amazing development. so friday night i gave away 16 pieces of clothing to my new laundry-man with a promise to return them washed, dried and ironed by sunday night.

it is with extreme glee that i announce their return:

this literally makes me want to cry with happiness.

they were so perfectly folded and ironed that i couldn’t believe that all this was done without the use of traditional laundering utilities. we’re talking a bucket, a rock and a wood burning fire here people.

so everything has worked out perfect – except for one thing.  in my infinite wisdom i didn’t realize that when your clean clothes are dried by a fire they…um…smell like a fire.

so for the next year it will kinda be like i’m camping. all the time.

market plunder.

25 Apr

although last week i moved into a fully furnished apartment here in kolkata,  i still needed a few things to get me going. the things that i have been missing are essentially the following: towels (don’t ask what i’ve been using for the last week, it’s unsavory), bed sheets, pillow cases, food, and gas for cooking.

and yes, i realize that “food” is a very general category. thanks.

anyway, so on friday night mr. s and i went to the big ‘western style’ supermarket here in kolkata called spencer’s. i’m not going to tell you every moment of the experience, so envision a 3 story, very skinny department store packed with about 2,500 people and 1,250 staff. basically, to create employment indians have structured life so that no one has to do anything for themselves. that’s my opinion anyway. dont get me wrong, i think  it’s phenomenal.

so at this insanely insane supermarket i got delicious items such as peanut butter, apples, cheese slices, eggplant, and sour cream and onion chips. what i will cook with this melange, i know not. but i do know that i’m excited.

then on sunday (because remember, while you jerkstores had 4-day weekend , i only had 1 day off) we went to 2 local markets – one called guriahat and the other called esplanade.  again, i’m not going to bore you with the typical traveller’s details, but just know that it was bat-shit crazy and i lasted only 30 minutes before demanding to leave.

although i’m working on my patience for people, i still came away with some awesome stuff. here are two of my purchases, linens for my bed and a book:

they call these bedsheets and pillows. i call them tablecloths and placements.

i'm trying to foster mutual understanding.

(i also got a little something special for a birthday that is approaching, but i can’t share it publicly lest i ruin the surprise. mom, i’m looking at you.)

so plundering the markets was exceptionally fun, and i am now plotting my export strategy back to canada with various visitors. as a result you may now call me ye old cap’n al – cause i’m pretty much a market pirate.

getting resurrected.

24 Apr

let me preface this by saying that although i’m mostly good with jesus, this post is likely not going to appeal to anyone who takes our lord and saviour overly seriously. so just move your mouse to the top right hand corner of your screen, and click the red x now.

ok then, let’s move forward.

so for a few days now i have been promising pictures of my stellar new apartment – and today is the big day.

here are the shots of my place, in a mostly residential neighbourhood about 15 seconds from the office – the big purple building in the background:

hot

my bedchamber. with a jaunty lizard called jaun carlo, that bastard.

(juan carlo is the bastard lizard that has been stalking my room for the last five nights.)

so i instinctively referred to resurrection in the above title because settling into my new apartment has been just like this exciting process of regeneration. reincarnation? refrigeration? actually, maybe i haven’t thought this through.

ok while i may not know the exact processular (it’s a word) details, there are indisputable parallels between me and the easter rebirth of his holy funkiness jesus christ. we both had to go away for a while, we had to spend a lot of time alone and my guess is that jesus didn’t like the food in that cave either.

just like good old jc, my (indian) “resurrection” seems to have turned out pretty ok.

honestly though, the natural skeptic in me is waiting for the other shoe to drop…likely in the form of 12,305 juan carloses eating my face off whilst i sleep.

but for now, i’d like to say happy easter to every wonderful person i have left behind in canada – in my life before this new one.

six impossible things.

22 Apr

it’s friday, and although i recently learned that here we work two saturdays a month, i wanted to celebrate the end of the week in canada.

on wednesday i decided to put up a few pictures around my desk space to make it a little homier –  and also to start a few conversations. (see: yesterday’s self-pitying post) i put up shots from our wedding that show my entire family and they have definitely started generating some buzz.

(mom – you should know that you have been attracting lots of attention.  mainly in the form of “this is your mother? oh she’s so beautiful! so beautiful!” sorry everyone else.)

anyway, in addition to pictures i have put a quote from lewis carroll’s (slightly trippy) classic novel, ‘alice through the looking glass’ that i ripped from a greeting card several years ago. i carry it with me everywhere. it goes like this:

“there is no use trying,” said alice; “one can’t believe in impossible things.”

“i dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the queen. “when i was your age, i always did it for half an hour a day. why, sometimes i’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

novel advice.

for a long time now i have strongly felt that you must believe in the impossible to get what you truly want. some days, i’ll admit, i feel selfish and crazy for thinking this way, as this mantra has taken me away from the things i love the most. things like husband, dog, family, friends, babies and giant glasses of wine.

but as time passes and i prove my theory more and more, i realize that you have to fight for what you really want out of this life.  and sometimes that means believing the impossible.

anyway, at the risk of breaking into a disney song right about now, the point is that this long weekend i encourage you all to pour yourselves some wine and follow the queen’s advice.

an edit from al: i’d like to thank mrs. ferrin for fixing my erroneous quotation.  lord knows i already make an ass out of myself most of the time, without adding incorrect quoting to the mix. thanks jen!

i hated high school.

21 Apr

ok, who didn’t – right? (and if you didn’t, well now i hate you just a little bit.)

so i hated high school because each day was like being thrown to the dogs – or so it felt at the time anyway.  you are endlessly awkward around your (cough, more popular, cough) classmates, you’re an idiot around the dude you like (i was), you are consistently paranoid that your friends are talking behind your back (they were) and you never have the right outfit on (never did).

of course i’m saying ‘you’ assuming that every teenager was as blindly paranoid and self conscious as i was. no? ok then. moving on.

now, because it’s highly probably that a few people with whom i went to high school will read this, i can’t lie and tell you that i was always treated with cruelty and deprived of compassion.  (god, i wish i could because then i’d have a much more compelling sob-story.) the truth is, is that while i did struggle to get by in teenage hell – i was a giant ass to a lot of people. you can’t win ‘em all folks.

anyway, this rather self-deprecating beginning is all to say that starting a new job in a developing country in a changing industry with a foreign language is just like high school.  and as we have established, i wasn’t a fan.

so far, each day at work i have been mustering my strength to walk through the door of my new office, remember complicated indian names, say hello and try to make friends.  even at my desk, i have been unsuccessfully attempting to integrate myself into the conversation of the wonderfully chatty girls sitting next to me. (they’re talking in bengali, so safe to say the odds aren’t in my favor.) i think they’re nice though? maybe?

basically, right now i’m 16 all over again.

an unfortunate example: yesterday i had a meeting with the team leader of one of the microfinance products. “her” name is joyanta.  pretty sure i went up to a guy thinking he could help me, asked for joyanta, and he said “that’s me.”  awesome move.

it felt just like this picture from 2002 looks: terrible.

a hideous picture, for a hideous moment.

so, long story short  – i’ve decided that enough is enough. i’m not getting very far with my award-winning personality and ability to pronounce bengali words – so tomorrow i’m going to bribe them all with candy to get them to like me.  go ahead – judge me! i know bribery will work, and this too shall pass.

man, i wish that – like in the workplace – i had the opportunity to use bribery in high school. hey, maybe then i wouldn’t have hated it so much.

time for tea. for you, and me.

20 Apr

i am working on great surprises for you, o blogosphere of loyal followers and procrastinators of work, but until i can secure a wireless connection in my new apartment (your eyes do not fail you – yes, new apartment!) you will have to patiently wait.  and in this case, waiting means putting up with some less flashy musings.

one thing that has been driving me batty, is the fact that I can’t get all up in people’s faces with cameras. (did you think i’d mention something real – like the people or the food? nope.)

so it would be weird, right, that as i’m negotiating and signing my rent agreement i stop everyone in the middle of everything and say “HALT. these proceedings are pure ridiculousness, i must photo-document them for my esteemed blog followers’ pleasure! say cheese!”

point being, lots of crazy shit has been happening and pictures are hard to come by.

(further example: this morning we rode a rickshaw (human) from the hotel to the office with my 2 big suitcases, 2 briefcases, me perched precariously in a skirt and heels – poor wardrobe choice, by the way – and mr. s.  do a few quick calculations in your head, ie. carry the 1, divide by 3.14, and no matter how you cut the cake you will see that that is too much cargo for one rickshaw. wish i had a picture, partly because it was piled insanely high, but mainly because i looked like a moron in my skirt. what’s wrong with me.)

anyway, the point of this rambling post is to let you know about a wonderful phenomenon in countries like india: the office boy.

the office boy is a truly god-like person.  he fetches you water, he cleans up after you, he gets you work-related items such as glue sticks, and best of all – he brings you tea.

and we’re not just talking about regular run of the mill tea.  we’re talking about oompa-loompa-sized cups of chai-infused goodness.  the cups may be tiny, but the taste is out of this world.  milky, sugary, caffine-y – he comes three times a day with tray in hand,  smile on face.

i have come to look very forward to him each day and his tea tray. i am growing more grateful with every passing moment that my consumption of this drink is core to his success at work.

so, while this post is about many things, it’s mainly about my love for this office boy (theoretical, not literal – calm down) and his wonderful tiny cups of tea.

now if only I had a picture.

i think you’re fun.

19 Apr

i love my husband.  here are the top five reasons why.

1. he is a perfectly giant man and can beat up anyone who gets in mah face. yup.

2. he’s good at everything i’m – as the french say – le shit at.

3. he has a deliciously off-beat sick sense of humor.

4. he loves with his whole heart.

5. he puts up with me.

happy fam.

i love you, sweetie.  

the first day.

18 Apr

yesterday was the first day that i truly ventured out and immersed myself into indian life.  other than walking to and from the car that escorted me to the office in delhi, i had yet to really get out there and get busy.

and busy i got.  a colleague from the microfinance institution, sanjay, was kind enough to offer to take me around the neighborhood and get me familiar with the necessities.  the necessities…and a few other things.

clearly a necessity.

we jumped from the hotel, to an auto-rickshaw (exactly what is sounds – a 3 legged open car-type-thing that makes you both exhilarated and scared for your life), to an ancient-looking yellow taxi, to the city metro. we walked in the middle of traffic that i would normally never dare (sorry dad) and tackled markets that were sweaty, hectic, and incense-infused.

sanjay was kind enough to take me to various parts of the city – the more residential part where our office/hotel is located, the busy commercial areas and then the more westernized locales.  in the latter, you could almost forget that you were in kolkata – i even had insanely over priced gelato and saw my first indian mcdonald’s.

the beer and gelato tasted especially perfect because it was 36+ degrees celsius outside.

the heat i can deal with (apparently it will get up to 50 degrees), but the heat, the sweat and the dirt is a terribly unique combination.  i don’t think i have ever freely let myself get so – for lack of a better descriptor – filthy. and i embraced it, cause after all, keeping pristine is a battle i ain’t going to win here.

dirty and happy at the end of a long day

of course, the day yielded some roadblocks. i got stared at everywhere we went, men made lots of comments (some of which sanjay hilariously translated for me) and i truly suck at learning bengali.  hopefully these things will improve.

however, i’d say that overall the first day was a good day. and now i’m off to a different kind of first day – at my new job.

enjoying the sun in one of kolkatas parks. dont ask me which one.

good morning, kolkata.

16 Apr

last night i flew 1.5 hours east from delhi to kolkata – the city in west, bengal india that i will call home for the next 12 months.  i arrived on bengali new year – the start of the year 1418 – and everyone seemed to be out celebrating in the streets.

i, however, opted out this time as i was exhausted from the flight.  so i cuddled up in my hotel, ordered some food and feel asleep to the most beautiful sounds…american tv!

this morning, i woke up to my first views of kolkata from the hotel:

morning!

hello kolkata.

tomorrow i have my first foray into the city – but for now – i’m going to savor each moment alone with the 500 hotel cable channels.

lunch.

14 Apr

there are two things that have set this week in gurgaon (delhi) apart: watching life go by at break-neck speeds in the taxi to the office each morning, and, less exoticly, lunch.

lord knows i love to eat,  yet oddly enough the anticipation with which i have been expecting lunchtime has little to do with the food.  (actually it has nothing to do with the food, if you read yesterday’s post.) it’s the conversation, that’s got me going.

so the office is a typical firm: a tight-knit boys club, with seven or eight staff members who are hard-nosed, smart as hell and true businessmen. moreover, many are well-travelled indians, and  have spent several years living in the west . to put it bluntly, these guys are intimidating.

but lunch seems to be when they let loose a little.

each day at 1 pm, the staff gather together in the boardroom and sit down to a rather formal lunch.  we’re talking actual plates, cutlery and napkins here people – real high-class stuff.

today’s conversation started when one of the guys turned to me, as i picked away at my rice, and said “allison, tell me about canada’s cuisine. what is a distinct canadian dish?”

i paused for a moment, went to speak, paused some more, and then eloquently said: “poutine?”

is this all we got canada? fries and gravy?

so after a lengthy attempted explanation on my part of what a cheese curd is (and frankly, now i’m not sure i actually know), a fellow staffer, seemingly unimpressed with my answer, said:

“you know, what blew me away when i moved to new york – other than the  bland food and size of the people – were the beggars.”

the reaction at the table from those who had never been to north america was interesting – they were suprised to hear we had issues in this area at all. (as i still sit on the board of one of toronto’s struggling ‘soup kitchens’, at this point i began to think the convo was taking an awkward turn.)

he continued, “i’m obviously used to beggars in principle, but the  guys who were sitting outside mcdonald’s day after day on lexington with signs that said ‘broke, want money for burger’ were truly shocking. i distinctly remember thinking: “isn’t that a little lazy and…mission-based?”

no joke, i almost spit out my rice.

continuing, as i pulled myself together, he said: “so i gave the guy some money the first time, but then the second time i saw him i thought – i don’t believe you.”

he has a point.

begging is mission-based, which if you think about it, is so ridiculous. alright, so the guy outside mcdonald’s is surely poor and likely feeling pretty low –  but does he really want money for that burger? probably not – he just wants your money, full stop.

the staffers great anecdote got me thinking that the north american begging scene is a song and dance – a show –  put on in whatever way possible to induce pity so you’ll spare some change.

and we’ve demanded it: we (you, me and…dupree.) want to be convinced that you truly need our money, so the beggars slap on a little shimmer, light the lights, and put on a show for us so we’ll pay attention.

to me, it seemed that my indian colleague was shocked upon his arrival in new york, because he never expected to face such indignity in north america.

i expected this week to see india a little more clearly, instead i was looking back at home with a new perspective. so i guess i have lunch to thank for that.

poutine, anyone?

incredible india! incredible india?

13 Apr

you may recall that episode of sex and the city where miz carrie bradshaw goes to shoot a glam magazine cover with the caption line “single and fabulous!”. however much to her egomaniacal dismay, she ends up fronting the cover looking like total shit with the title “single and fabulous?”. 

for those who don’t immediately recall carrie’s plight here is a visual:

epic fail, carrie.

anyway, why am i making this slightly obscure reference to early millenia pop culture?

the indian tourism people (official title) have the slogan “incredible india!” which i have been seeing everywhere – from the consulate in toronto to the lobby of my guest house. however today i am seriously questioning said slogan. in true carrie bradshaw-esque-ness (real word) i’m sitting here thinking “incredible india?” – question mark, not exclamation point.

i am calling you out india on your professed incredibleness because, and i announce this with sincere shame, my ‘delhi belly’ seems to have begun. ok so i knew it was coming, but that fair warning doesn’t make this moment any easier:

not feeling (or looking) so hot.

i’m sure you don’t wish me to go on, but in the interest of transparent journalism- a commitment to the highest level of professional and ethical reporting if you will – my tummy feels like a combination of first-day-of-anything nerves, acid reflux slash hunger, 34 beers and several rotten (yet still prickly) cacti.

so to this i say: incredible india? question mark. final answer.

predicting le future.

12 Apr

i can predict the future. swear. 

right now it’s tuesday in india, yet at home it’s still monday.  so let me be the first to tell you all (ya’ll, for hannah) that tuesday is coming – and it’s going to be a good day.

im off to work, my first day of training with the venture capital firm in delhi, before heading to the microfinance institution on friday:

do i look like someone who knows what they're talking about?

im already sweating.  this doesn’t bode well.  have a great day!

they let me in!

11 Apr

after what seems like an eternity of back and forth with the indian government on my suitability as a temporary resident in their country, i am pleased to report that they have let me in!

i thought that nothing could have been more scary than having to advocate my visa case at the consulate general of india in toronto to the big man, in the big suit, with the big carpet in his office.  (don’t all people of crazy importance have carpets in their offices?)

but i was wrong. 

standing in line today waiting to get my visa accepted, i was shaking.  i was just thinking that all the time, money, effort and tears (cough, jess) that have gone into this trip would have been for not. naught? nought?  no idea.

anyway, good news loyal followers, i am here safe at my guest house under the watchful eye of a glamorous gentleman named mr. surya.  he is very concerned about my intake of cold beverages.  and bloody rightfully so, its hot as !$%^ here.

the view from my room:

hello delhi.

dinner just arrived (boiled veggies and parantha, grilled flatbread?), so im going to muster up my strength and face what i know is coming my way very soon.  for those of you who aren’t picking up my rather cryptic drift, one word: immodium.

it’s kinda like being famous.

10 Apr

i haven’t decided if this post is slightly racist or not yet, but while im mulling that one over, just hang tight.

i only have 30 minutes until we board, and in order to cope with this epic journey with which i am currently faced, i thought i’d share my last few moments on canadian soil.

in case you have already forgotten me (how dare you),  here i am just moments ago waiting in anticipation at terminal 1. mildly displeased? slightly stuffed up? a pinch nauseous? aye aye!

oh hi.

even as i checked into my air india flight, i already noticed that i’m the different one.  im very tall, im very loud and im very…blonde. and, in a sea of non-loud/tall/blonde indians, i can’t help notice i’m standing out.

different-dom is something that as canadians we all say we’re ok with. we’re multicultural! we have healthcare! we like beavers!  but are we really ok with being different? i know im finding it hard, and it’s hour…um…2.

so what i’ve decided is that this next year of being different is going to be like experiencing fame. think about it: im going to get stared at most places i go, people may point and some even may mutter things under their breath. i’m different, i’m fabulous – i’m pretty much famous!

in closing, and frankly what i’d like to think of as a little ‘goodbye gift’ to you all, i will share with you my last beef product for 1 year.

$9.00 airport beef.

adios!