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Only in India (maybe)?

16 Nov

A little snippet from dinner last night at Shiro in UB City.

Waiter brings over a glass of Coke with ice for Claire.

Claire: Oh, can I have a glass without ice, please? (We don’t drink the tap and we avoid ice too)

Waiter: grunt

The waiter walks about 10 feet away, clearly still in plain sight, and takes the ice out with either his fingers or a fork. He returns with the same drink with the liquid level down about an inch and one piece of ice still in it. We are baffled.

Claire: There’s still ice in it.

Waiter: smirks

Claire: Never mind. I’ll just drink water.

The awkward situations never end.


Animal Print is the New Black!

28 Oct

I knew animal print was in, but apparently the Bangalore police did too. These are their cheetah print motorcycles. How fashion forward of them. Purr!

Critters in Kerala

19 Oct

Hi, I’m a Benson Snail (Indrella ampulla) and I can move quicker than you’d think.

Hi, I have amnesia and I’ve forgotten what I am, but don’t I look neat?

Hi, I’m a baby python and Julie almost stepped on me. Good thing I slithered back under the rocks where it’s safe.

More Dussehra Traditions

17 Oct

I’ve also been told (confirmed through internet searches) that Dussehra is also a time of weapon worship. Since most of us aren’t carrying around swords and guns these days, this translates into a worship of our modern day weapons/tools like cars, tractors, computers and other electronics. Driving though Mysore today, I saw cars, trucks and rickshaws decorated like Christmas trees. Metallic tinsel, garlands of flowers and leaves decorated the grill of most vehicles. Lovely sights!

Dussehra Celebration

15 Oct

Today at work Prakash (on the right), one of my favorite people of all time, lit a lemon on fire then smashed it with his palm outside the doorway of the office. Then he lit a coconut on fire and held it above his head and smashed it on the ground beside the lemon. Next he lit a melon on fire and walked throughout the office with it before he, you guessed it, smashed it to the ground. Amazing! This is how we celebrated Dussehra, a Hindu festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil, at work. Mid afternoon, Claire and I were called out of our office (sans shoes). We joined the whole team near the entrance of the office where a Hindu priest was chanting before garlands of flowers, fruits and other offerings for the Gods.

It was all fascinating and everyone was nice enough to give us a front row seat. We never have anything this lively in the L.A. office. Once the priest was finished with his chant, he walked around to bless each of us individually. We each walked up with a handful of flowers and rice that we presented as an offering to the Gods. What a ritual! In return, we were presented with a bag of kalle puri (puffed rice), one mosambi and one small banana. Our co-workers told us that it was a gift from the Gods, so we had to eat it. Okay by me, since the kalle puri is delicious.

This celebration put everyone in a nice, lively mood. What a great way to start the weekend. I’m up in 5 hours to head to Kerala where I’ll be staying in a treehouse! Have a great weekend everyone and happy Dussehra.

Monkey See, Monkey Do!

10 Oct

There are moments I’ve had during this trip where I completely forget that I’m in India. Then I look out the window of the car and there are monkeys everywhere. Adorably deceiving creatures, aren’t they? Cute but with the threat of rabies being so real, it’s best to admire from afar.

Oh Toto, we’re definitely not in Los Angeles anymore.

Only in India

6 Oct

At first I thought fitting a family of four on a moped was impressive. Then I saw this guy transporting 20+ live (yes, LIVE) chickens on his motorcycle. Only in India.