Jumbotron

June 12th, 2010

World cup fever is gripping Chennai (ahem).

The problem we face is that bars in Chennai:

  1. Close at 11pm
  2. Are couples only
  3. Probably wont show football anyway.

The solution:

Build a screen in the garden, run an 80m cable from the satellite dish and watch it at home.

jumbotron

All hail Jumbotron !

Jumbotron

Build it .. and they will come.

Possibly slightly arrogant

June 11th, 2010
T-Shirt

But still funny as f&*$

The Great Leaders Birthday

June 3rd, 2010

The most senior politician, the Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi has created a cult of personality. The irony  that his sons name is ‘Stalin’ is probably lost on the masses.

Last week was The Great Leaders Birthday and a whopping £25,000 was spent on giant posters and flags throughout the city that wouldn’t look out of place in Pyongyang.

My favorite poster depicted his bald head as a pearl in an oyster shell. Fallon, Ogilvy, Saatchi – you’ve got nothing on this !

Oyster Catcher

Oyster Catcher

Shopping

May 11th, 2010

Shopping Western style is fairly limited in Chennai – so I was pleased to spot “London Shopping Festival” was coming to town – with a replica of London bridge !

As we wandered around – clearly the only Londoners in a 4 mile radius –  I started to wonder what the London connection was exactly. And as nice as the replica “London Bridge” was – a quick search on google would have revealed it was in fact Tower Bridge.

London Shopping

London Shopping Festival

Austin Towers

Austin Towers

Summer Olympics

May 4th, 2010

Summer is here again – and its back to scorchio – 38 degrees and rising.

My new house mate Austin has moved in, so instead of me wasting the day on my own resuing insects from the pool – we decided to get sporty.

First event – Lilo race

Second event – Surf in the pool

Third event – Kite surf.

Now, bearing in mind that being Western we attract a lot of stares in the street from locals, we knew that taking a 19 foot kite onto the beach was going to be an Indian magnet – and so it proved to be.

Still, with a crowd of about 70 watching us we were able to launch the kite and Austin was able to skid along the beach. Unfortuntaley the wind dropped so we couldnt try it in the sea, but nevertheless, much fun.

Davio Surfing

If everybody had a ocean . .

nick kite

Lets go fly a kite . .

Sea Surf

something funny...

The Weeds Returns

May 3rd, 2010

Simon and I were having Dinner so we sent my driver to pick up Dave from the airport with a sign . . .

Mooey

Mooey

Shall I buy a moped?

March 18th, 2010

Sometimes I think about getting a moped – despite the safety of indian roads – at least it would give me a bit more freedom.  I’m used to being able to travel around a city easily, quickly and independently.

And then something always reminds me why i shouldn’t.

We are driving through Goa and a car overtakes us, 2 km later . . .

Car Crash

Independence or Life? Hmmnnn..

I’ve got the power

March 13th, 2010

So, last week there was a power outage at the office.

It was such a serious power outage that it made the local TV and newspapers.

Powerful News artcicle

We need more power scotty !!

The biggest tune right now . .

February 4th, 2010

All the music you hear in Chennai (and probably India) is from a film. Not some of it – all of it. There’s not a Top 40, no TOTP, just music from films.

Every now and then there is a song that you will not be able to escape – it’s on peoples phones, in their cars or just blaring from houses. The latest one is from Slum Dog Millionaire Composer,  A.R. Rahman and its called Hosanna.

I would say I hear it at least twice a day, every day.

Groundhog Day.

Tuk-Tastic

February 1st, 2010

A mail has been doing the rounds about a rickshaw driver called Samson, who has his own website and has become a bit of a celebrity in Chennai.

His site was made by a BA crew member who had been using him and a Norwegian subsequently donated Samson a laptop.

Now the media have picked up on this and there was an article in The Hindu this weekend, followed by an interview on the radio this morning.

However, I am not in a rush to get a lift as I rarely use rickshaws and have been told that my frivolity when paying raises the prices for other Westerners!

Indian Peoples Front? F&*k Off !!

January 30th, 2010

We are the . .

Popular Peoples Front

Peoples front of India - SPLITTERS !!

There’s a rat in me kitchen

January 26th, 2010

Well, he’s not in the kitchen – he’s in the garden.

I first became aware of him when I came home from work and felt the wind as he galloped past me – it’s not your average sized rat – he’s massive.

I’ve been approaching my porch with my laptop held above my head, ready to swing at him, but he seems to have gone into hiding.

Maybe I should arrange for the snake that fought and killed a cat in my garden last year, to fight the rat – and get Jose Luis Rodriguez to captue the moment!

Pongal 2010 !

January 13th, 2010

Pongal is the Tamil new year, the biggest event of the Tamil calendar and therefore I was persuaded to wear traditional Indian clothes for the day.

We celebrated by having Pongal (sweet rice) a game of ‘smash the pot’ blindfolded and a Rangoli competition for the girls.

Dhoti look nice

Dhoti look nice

Vetti Good Team

Vetti Good Team

Bosh!

Bosh!

Train Station Shower

December 13th, 2009

It hard to imagine in England, someone (let alone a group of men) whilst waiting for a train, taking advantage of the hoses which clean the trains to have a quick spruce up before their journey begins.

This isn’t a provincial station, its a big station in the city.

Shower - Alfresco !

Shower - Alfresco !


Logo looks familiar

Logo looks familiar

Winter

December 13th, 2009

Winter has arrived and is dropped to a teeth chattering 25 degrees.

Appropriately, people are wrapping up. I have seen people with jackets, woolly hats and even balaclavas!

I am standing on the train platform, shorts and a t-shirt lapping up the sun, while the man next to me seems to think its scarf o’clock!

Bit chilly?

Bit chilly?

Mumbai photos

December 8th, 2009

Photos from Mumbai on Flikr

Shantaram

December 8th, 2009

It seems that everyone who comes to India reads Shantaram – the story of an armed robber who escapes an Australian prison and lives in the slums of Mumbai. The book was such a success that it is now being made into a film, with Johnny Depp as the lead roll.

As we ate in the restaurant which the book centers on, I spotted the author. Unable to resist the temptation, I approached him and got my picture.

Extra scene in the movie needed now I guess  . . .

Gregory David Roberts

Gregory David Roberts

Bombay Bombing

December 6th, 2009

Not the tragic events of 26/11.

As we drive from the airport into the city I am soaking up the scenery with all my senses when I spot some graffiti that I recognise instantly as North Londons finest, Drax, living up to the World Domination name!

Brought a big smile to my face.

Didn’t get a chance to get photos myself, so these are courtesy of Drax’s Flikr account

Drax

Draxi

World Domination

World Domination

Sandhyas Baby

November 30th, 2009

Sandhya has had a little boy “Lakshmi Narayanan”

I adopted my usual “uncomfortable oh shit I am gonna drop him” look which i have perfected over the years…

Sri Hari

Sri Hari

Sssssurprise

November 30th, 2009

What i love about India is you think you’ve seen it all, know everything there is to know, something happens that takes you by surprise.

On Wednesday, a member of staff found a 3 foot Indian python wrapped behind the headlight in the steering chassis of his motorbike.

The motorbike was wheeled to the road and tipped over, where I am sad to say it was then attacked with sticks and killed.

Badger Badger Badger

Badger Badger Badger

Snake, its a Snake . .

Snake, its a Snake . .

Visa Problems

November 29th, 2009

So, despite the numerous times I have listed my contact details or referrer’s contact details in various documents when applying for a visa, no one contacted me to let me know the visa laws were changing and I had 3 days to leave the country or risk overstaying my visa, an arbitrary fine and potentially not being let back in to the country.

Fortunately someone i met 3 weeks before informed me and I was able to get a flight out the next day and return to the UK to apply for an Employment visa.

The main aim of the change in law was to prevent foreign workers from taking low skilled jobs in India and to get taxes from the expatriate workers were on business visas (like myself).

Not surprising the government is looking to raise funds, since they has just realised they have been paying $43m to 22,000 non existent workers in Dehli!

Ep !

November 29th, 2009
EP

Noel EPmonds

Blog Unavailable

November 20th, 2009

Due to my not too uncommon procrastination, my blog was not just taken offline but erased due to non payment of a small bill.

Anyway, all is back now, lesson learned and I will be updating shortly with Diwali, Visa dramas and more . .

I know i have a funny accent . .

October 23rd, 2009

But seriously, you thought that was my name . . ?

Names not Neck, youre not coming in..

Names not Neck, you're not coming in..

Puja

September 26th, 2009

Much as I would like to claim that Puja was a ceremony to welcome me back, it was just a coincidence that it fell on the Sunday I got back.

Puja is a ceremony to bless the work place. Incense is burnt, prayers said, and red markings placed on all work equipment – from air conditioners to cars.

I did feel lightly guilty though, that as I watched the traditional ceremony, the kids were glued to the Wii which I had introduced them to minutes before.

Puja 2

Puja 2

Puja 1

Puja 1