Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Me Julie

Looks like Julie is more concerned
about catching something from Ramesh!
I walked outside the other day to find Ramesh patting a stray dog,  ‘Eww Ramesh! Don’t touch that dog, its probably got dog aids’ I said in disgust. ‘No, maaam, Julie good.’ Slightly confused that Ramesh had just said the extremely English name Julie in the same conversation about a dog with aids, I replied ‘No Ramesh the dog, the dog is not clean,’ ‘Julie is very clean’ he grunted, obviously offended that I would think for even a minute that a dog who lives on the dirty streets of Mumbai would be unclean. ‘So the dog is called Julie?’ I tried to confirm, ‘Yes maaam, Julie’ he replied encouraging the other people who hang around outside our house to back him up, who then all started wobbling their heads whilst saying the word ‘Julie’. There was now absolutely no doubt whatsoever in my mind that this dog was named Julie. But why Julie? I thought, so I asked ‘Why Julie Ramesh?’ ‘Sorry maam’ (this means he doesn’t understand me) so I took it to the floor ‘Why is the dog called Julie?’ ‘Anyone?’ blank faces all round. Maybe they didn’t understand my accent, so I continued…‘Why… is… the… dog… called….’ ‘Fuck it, I got in the car and got on with my life.

Monday, February 27, 2012

With a Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That....

'Ding, ding' Round two!!
We all know that Crows and Pigeons are an annoying reality of city life, but most of us will not let them bother us and we get on with our everyday lives as normal- not Paul!
Whilst watching Sex In The City from the comfort of my giant size bed, I had noticed that Paul had been an exceedingly long time in the bathroom . When he finally did surface he had a very suspicious look on his face; knowing he had been up to something untoward (and not the two things you guys are thinking of) I decided that I was more interested in what shoes Carrie had on than interrogating him about his twenty minutes in the bathroom, so gave him the obligatory ‘I know you have been up to something' look and continued with my viewing. Five minutes later there was a knock at the door. ‘You get it Soph’ Paul said ‘It’s 10.30 at night, you get it’ I replied, ‘Go on you are closer!’ In a huff I got up and went to the door and took a sneaky peek through the peephole. It was the Police and worse still they had moustaches!! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Week 3 Mumbaikins Diet

Previous Weight: 8 stone/ 52kg/ 52 bags of sugar
Current Weight: 7.9 stone/ 50kg/ the approximate weight of an elephants leg
Weight loss: 0.1 stone/ 2kg
Shots of tap water: I now have ice cubes in my drink
Comments: 0.1 stone/ 2kgs may not sound a lot, but if I was on the 'Biggest Loser' they would be very pleased with that result and I would probably cry and make some sort of heartfelt speech.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Words ‘Daylight’ and ‘Robbery’ Spring To Mind

After yet another day spent lying in bed, crying into my pillow (because I had been watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition, no other reason) Paul arrived home with food shopping bags; not very exciting I know but that was until he started to reveal what was inside these shopping bags. With a very excited look on his face he started to pull out an array of western food produce which would normally grace the shelves of Sainsburys! ‘Where, how??’ I spluttered in absolute astonishment, it was as if he had bought back gold bullion or some sort of valuable Roman artifact, with my mouth wide open in awe, I touched the items gently, being careful not to damage them and started to place the treasure items neatly in the kitchen.

Monday, February 20, 2012

It's Not Just Windy in Chicago!

Look at that horrified face!!
There’s never good time for the wind to blow your dress up, revealing the majority of your derriere and underwear; but when you are in Mumbai, wearing a shorter than India appropriate dress, walking down the people clad streets of Marine Drive at rush hour has got to be the worst!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Don’t Read This Post, its Really Crap

We all now know that our apartment doesn’t have a kitchen sink, so today I thought I would concentrate on what our apartment does have to offer:  
1.     A shiny floor- Mayn, you can see your face in that thing!! 
 2.     Three bottle openers – Because one is never enough.
     3.     A posh brass lock- That thing belongs in a castle!

      4.     A mug stain in the bath- I don’t know  where it came from but at least it gives me a laugh every time I’m in the shower!


Happy Valentines Day!!

Theres a few dead ones in there, but its the
thought that counts
This morning I had a beautiful Rose and Lilly Valentines bouquet delivered to my front door, and what did the message card read? ‘I Love You’? ‘Will You Be My Valentine’?? ‘Happy Valentines Day’??? No. A hand scribbled ‘GET WELL SOON’.
Only in India! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

This is Not a Rant...

Let me drop a hard, cold fact on you…. Mumbai is not a cheap place to live for an expat, in fact its bloody expensive. So if you think (like I thought) ‘Oh yes, I can live in place like Mumbai because at least it’s cheap and I can save shed loads of money’ You are sadly mistaken and I advise you take the following into consideration before taking le plunge:

Numero Uno (Yeah I know, Spanish!) : The tax rate is a standard 30% and for that 30% contribution to the government you get jack.

2. House/ apartment rental prices are the 12th highest in the whole entire world (average rent per month $3562) but don’t take my word for it – look at the fancy pants graph I’ve provided to the left (full version below)

3. Alcohol in Maharashtra state (where Mumbai is) is taxed at 100% with a bit more added on for good measure, which means a decent bottle of wine will set you back around 70 quid and champagne around 100 quid. (Bare in mind the same bottle of decent wine will cost you a tenner in Tesco) Local Sula Wine is slightly cheaper at around 40 quid but tastes like piss.

4. Household items i.e Cushions, sofas, throws, TV stands, rugs, decorative mirrors, side boards, beds, spring mattresses are Laura Ashley prices (and granted Laura Ashley quality) but still expensive and there’s no Ikea. NO IKEA!

But despite all this it is fantastic life experience and that’s the main thing. 

For the full version of 'The Worlds Most Expensive Cities' visit: http://www.globalpropertyguide.com/most-expensive-cities 

The Day We Hijacked a Bus (In Pictures)

These photos do not do this hillairballs event justice! 

Friday, February 10, 2012

If you are eating do not read this post, if you are not eating, read away, you might learn something…

I wonder who would win in a fight, the hose or the toilet
paper? Hmmmm
We’ve all been in the situation when we are home alone, nature calls and DOH! There’s no toilet paper left. We frantically scan the room looking for alternative methods but we all know the cotton wool won’t do the trick and we won’t be able to look our partner/ parents/ ourselves (whoever we live with) in the eye again if we use a towel, so as a last resort we might jump into shower and let the warm water wash the nightmare away.
Now Indian’s wouldn’t be faced with such a dilemma because the majority uses our last resort as their standard toilet practice. Correct, they wipe their backside after going number one or two, using water and their left hand; this is why in most Indian bathrooms you’ll find a little hose where the Andrex should be. And before you shout ‘GROOOOSSSSS’ and throw up a little in your mouth, they do wash their hands after and it’s a cultural thing, as they believe this way is more hygienic than using toilet paper alone. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Know Where I’ll Be Going For My Next Weigh In…

I don't know why he looks so
 miserable. Its a fantastic idea!

In the UK if we need to find out our weight we either; step onto the set of scales stored in the bathroom or for a more accurate reading we’ll pop to Boots or Superdrug and use one of those fancy shmancy machines that also measures your height and BMI, and its pretty similar in Mumbai too except you don’t have to go into a shop, ohhh no, you can do it in the street! Yes, the man in the picture to the left sits on the side of the road on a daily basis charging 5-10 rupees (depending on the colour of your skin and probably how heavy you are) for people to weigh themselves on his industrial size weighing scales! Not only genius but highly convenient I think you will agree!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Week 1 Mumbaikins Diet

Previous Weight: 8 stone/ 52kg/ approx 57 chickens
Current Weight: 8 stone/ 52kg/ approx 57 chickens
Weight loss: Zilch!!
Shots of tap water: Accidently opened my mouth in the shower! Doh! 
Comments: Errrrm maybe I should do this update monthly?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Only Thing I Didn’t Pack…

I think they call it beju
So as explained on Friday, Paul’s apartment does have weighing scales but it is lacking in other areas. Whilst in the Kitchen making myself the delectable Indian delicacy Beans on Toast (ok not Indian, but a delicacy none the less) I noticed there was something missing… I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I came to put my washing up in the sink, and then it hit me... there was no sink??? Paul’s kitchen has no sink? How can there be no kitchen sink? I quickly emailed Paul reminding him of the fact he had no sink, his reply? ‘Use the bathroom’ my reply, ‘WTF’!

Great Need For Earplugs

Moscow State Circus watch out!
Who needs an alarm clock when you live in Mumbai hey? I’ve been here less than a week and have been woken up each morning with a variety of ear deafening sounds:
Wednesday – A pig being slaughtered or a child, I don’t know which, it was just loud and squeal like.
Thursday- Honking.
Friday- A shed load of crows trying to eat a dead dog.
Saturday– An old man singing (I gave him 10 rupees to shut the hell up- I had a hangover!!)
Sunday- A woman banging the top of a dustbin with a wooden spoon in a bid to round up attention so people would watch her 2 year old son tight rope walk on a piece of bamboo which was elevated 8 feet in the air.
So next time your alarm clock goes off show it some gratitude will you...    

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Mumbaikins Diet!

I think this image sums up this post perfectly!
The best thing about Pauls new rabbit hutch  apartment is that it has a set of weighing scales, so in celebration of this fact I am embarking upon the 'Mumbaikins Diet'! 
Not to be mistaken with the Atkins Diet, the 'Mumbaikins Diet' is more effective than laxatives and gastric band surgery (I have no medical evidence to support this) and you can eat whatever the hell you want! McDonalds? (if you have the patience)? Sure! Pasta? Have seconds! Cake? Treat yourself! 
To speed up the weight loss process a shot of tap water can be added to your daily intake of ‘whatever the hell you want’. The only downside condition of the 'Mumbaikins Diet' is that you have to stay in India for at least one week and not mind spending hours of your day on the toilet.  
So sit back, relax and join me on my journey of self destruction discovery…. as I begin the 'Mumbaikins Diet'…… (I think I'm gona trade mark that name - its catchy!)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I’m Smiling….On The Inside

Who would have thought it! This time last year I was on a flight from Singapore to start my new life in India and guess what??? Twelve months later I am doing exactly the same thing!  Yes! I am returning to a City which was voted one of the worst places to live in the World….Mumbai (their words not mine, NOT MINE: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-08-30/news/29945063_1_global-cities-jon-copestake-worst-places  )
This time around I feel I am mentally prepared for my Mumbai adventure and have decided to replace moaning with exercise, crying with shopping and attempting to kill myself with the 3rd season of Glee.
I’ve also developed a list of pros and cons to help with the integration:
The Pros: A can of diet coke is 20 rupees, (25p) a packet of Lays (Walkers to you and I) is 10 rupees (12p) and a single Mento is 1 rupee (1ishp) - How fantastic is that?? Definately worth moving back for in my new positive opinion.
The Cons: Errrrrm, must,  not, moa.....I’m going to exercise.