Friday, August 31, 2012

Loo Blues

It’s now more than five years since we moved to this city. That is the longest I’ve stayed in one place after my marriage. We are so accustomed to moving around that Pickwick still keeps asking me ‘When are me moving to a new house, Mummy?’  He thinks it’s perfectly normal to move houses like one upgrades mobile phones.

For me this has now become my second home. Not yet my first love, but more like a happy crush one thinks fondly of. But when we came here the whole thing was a bit of a culture shock.  Tiny things, that make you realise that you’re from a completely different world. Take loos for example. Yes, Loos. We wash. Here, they wipe. No really, I don’t get it. Do you say ‘Gee, I’m all sweaty. Let me wad up a bunch of paper towels, wipe my armpits, and a quick dab all over, and Voila! I’m all clean’? NO? Then how the hell is it okay to do that for arses? And there is no concept of floor drains in loos.  How the hell are you supposed to wash the floors of the loos?  And we’re supposed to be the third world country??

Speaking of washing, we, that is, us Indians are obsessed with bathrooms. We need more bathrooms. When we first came here, we went looking for places to rent. The estate agent showed us plenty of houses, mansions even with 5 bedrooms, a reception room, a dining room a conservatory  and one, yes, ONE  bathroom and ONE toilet! I mean what is it with these guys? Don’t they ever need a shower? Oh yes, I forget – all they need is paper towels.

I still remember my grandmum used to freak  out when she came to houses with  bathtubs. She was used to, well, wells and rivers and such. So when I explained the concept of a bathtub to her, she went ‘chee!  You lie around fermenting in your own juices? That’s DISGUSTING!’ (This is a loose translation for her words from Tamil.  The literal translation would have be banned from blog sites) Thank God I didn’t have to explain toilet papers to her, she would have disowned me.

We have recently invested in a small apartment in India. We are delighted with it. When people ask us about it, we say, ‘Oh, it’s not much, it’s just a 2 BHK, and the proportions are quite small but it’s got TWO BATHROOMS!’

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ballooning in the Cotswolds

"A place of outstanding natural beauty" the tourist blurb says. Well, I was about to find out.
The Cotswolds aren't too far away to drive from London. Took us about a couple of hours to get there, and straightaway, you know that the information brochure does not lie. It was like I was transported back in time. There isn't even 3G in this place! But what it did have was ballooning - and weather Gods permitting, we were about to take off, after eleven unsuccessful attempts at praying for decent weather over weekends.
The snaps simply don't do justice to the amazing beauty we witnessed during the ride.
Hot air to get the basket upright. We then had to scamper in real quick before we were untethered from the station wagon
Looks like an image from Google maps, doesn't it?

Clear skies with visibility right up to the sea!

Keeping us alight

One of the most beautiful sunsets I've seen....

We were treated to a spectacular show by Mother Nature
The man, the moment, all very moving.

We Landed in a field - in the middle of nowhere.  The  pilot had to signal  the balloon chaser (yes, that is his profession, I'm not making this up) with giant flames shooting up into the night sky to guide him. Don't even ask how we packed the balloon up!

who knew landing the balloon and packing up would be more adventurous than the balloon ride itself!