Sunday, July 3, 2011

Malaria Watch: Monsoon Edition!

Week 1 Malaria Watch: Monsoon Edition!
Like most people I have been taking extra precautions to ensure I am not bitten and infected with Malaria during the Monsoon season. These precautions include:
·     *  Not leaving the house. Ever
·      * Dressing head to toe in clothes, ensuring no area of the body is uncovered – think Ninja/ woman in a Burka
·      * Spraying myself, everything and everyone around me with creatively named repellents such as;  ‘Buzz Off’ ‘Mosquito Gone’ and ‘Moz Away’
·      * Arming myself with one of those surprisingly entertaining electrified tennis racquet's which instantly kills bugs on contact (this is also fun for electrocuting your husband)
However all of these precautions went out of the window when we decided to hit Bandra on Saturday night! The legs were out, the perfume was on and the electrified tennis racket was deemed inappropriate.
It was during the hours of 3.30am-4.10am whilst waiting for a taxi/ travelling home in the taxi/ arriving home in the taxi I was again bitten, not once, not twice but three times on the right leg (this seems to be the leg preferred by Mosquitoes)! Oh how I wish I would have worn jeans!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I Don't Normally Do Serious...

India isn’t the only place in the world you get begged at, I know. Many a time in Birmingham I have been asked if I could ‘Spare a bit of change’ or if ‘I want to buy a ‘Big Issue’ from a beggar, but in India it really is a whole new kettle of fish. I rarely write about things that don’t amuse me and although being bribed at the airport wasn’t my idea of funny, I can imagine me clambering up a ramp to the hold of an aeroplane, wearing skinny jeans and wedges was comical to the workers below, so I’ll let that one go, but this post is serious.
Beggars are everywhere here, men, women, children, babies, old ladies, children with one arm, children with no arms, ladies with scared faces, men with no legs (you get the picture,) constantly approach me asking for money, or Chapatti (Indian food). The relentless begging means that I hardly leave the house on my own anymore as the children will just follow me for miles and the sight of babies playing half naked in the street was starting to disturb me. At night you will see families who cant even afford to live in a slum lying on cardboard boxes in the street, trying to sleep.
People said to me before I moved to India that you get used to the begging and you just have to tell them ‘No’ and they go away, but I’ve never got used to it. Its just awful to see adults and children living this way and all I want to do is give them everything in my pockets, but I know that you can't do that. Everyone gets begged at here, I probably slightly more as I’m female and white but even the local Indians get their fair share, the difference is if they say ‘No’ they will walk away, when I say ‘No’ they don’t really listen.

Friday, July 1, 2011

'Rain, Rain....' Are You Coming or What?

View from my window today
Errrrrrm, I thought it was supposed to rain in the Monsoon? I’m thinking of getting my bikini and the factor 15 out! 

Don’t Report me to the RSPCA!!

Holy Cow? Skinny Cow more like
Although I have seen more cows in England in areas as big as my living room than I have in the whole of Mumbai, I have been lead to believe that they are Holy here and I have occasionally seen one or two at the roadside standing next to little old ladies washing their clothes. Before I went back home to the UK one of these little old ladies grabbed me and asked me if I wanted to feed her Cow for good luck. I had 10 rupees on me so gave it to her; in return she gave me some cardboard and urged me to feed the ‘Holy Cow’ with it. I don’t know about you but I expected to be given luscious green grass or a fresh wholesome vegetable of some sort to feed this sacred creature with, not a piece of old, brown, dirty, cardboard? At first I declined, cruelty to animals and all, but the little old lady wouldn’t take no for an answer! She ripped off a sizeable strip, stuffed it into my hand, then rammed the card board (and almost my hand) in to its mouth. ‘Thank you goodbye maam’ she said. Did I feel full of luck? No! Did I feel full of Holiness? No! Did I feel like I had just been conned out of 10 rupees by a little old lady and now the Cow God was going to unleash bad luck on me because I fed its form on earth with crappy cardboard? Absofrigginglutely!