Saturday, June 30, 2007

Back into full swing!

It's been 3 weeks since we arrived back in Bangalore after our wonderful European holiday. We've had more than enough time to re-adjust and get back into "India mode".

Not that we had a choice as so much has happened in the past 3 weeks. Time really does fly when you're having fun:

We arrived back to Bangalore to find that our driver was dismissed while we were away. We of course didn't know about this until the day we arrived back at the airport and Nagraj wasn't their to collect us. Long story short: we've had two drivers since and test drove another two. We have a substitute driver until we strike it lucky and find one that we like.

In the mean time I've been very busy with work for the OWC (overseas women's club) which is a social and charitable organization and a registered trust. I share the role of Vice President of Activities (Unfortunately voluntary). It is a full time job keeping about 600 members busy with planned activities and events throughout the year. EC Meetings, monthly reports, meetings with GM's of hotels, restaurant managers...the whole bang shoot! I haven't worked for over a year and as you can image this is right up my ally...I love it!

And to add to all the excitement, Jacqueline is getting ready to say farewell to India. She's had to sort out all her stuff. Decisions, decisions...20kg Mmmmmm(what stays and what goes)! We've done some last minute shopping to just add to her dilemma of space.

Commercial street - which has been some what of a "shopping paradise" for Jacqueline the past 6 months.

Jacqueline had a list of "all things Indian" that we had to shop for.

On Tuesday we collected the keys to our new apartment. It was a easy and painless move as far as the actual moving of the furniture and other household items go. We started moving some of the smaller stuff over the next couple of days e.g. clothes, the few ornaments, kitchenware and office stuff that we have. By Thursday when they delivered the furniture I had already unpacked, hung curtains etc.

Our new apartment block - Chartered Raaga in Cooke Town about 5km from the city centre.

I took down the auspicious mango leaves that were above the front door. Hope I haven't jinxed anything now..Oops!

Home Sweet Home!!!

We had a couple of teething problems with a leaking toilet, dust all over the place from when they installed the AC in the bedroom and some minor electrical work to be done.

By this afternoon it was all sorted...mirror up, AC connected, kitchen switches re-wired, the bed side lamp's cables were replaced, the 3rd load of washing was on the line. All in a days work!

Of course not without supervision, as Marc had to man the vacuum cleaner while Kumar drilled holes for the AC cables, mirror etc. Kumar was very impressed with this ingenious "No mess no fuss" technique.

Marc standing by with the vacuum cleaner!

Isn't this ironic...the electrition's drill doesn't have a plug!

We enjoyed our first BBQ in India, fillet steak on our own gas "braai" in our new house, Life is grand!

The great BBQ on our small patio where we hope to have many more great "braai's".

Our lusious, green private garden with all sorts of herbs, a lime tree, a mango tree and even our own coconut tree.

In July I will also resume my graphic design course, which I'm hoping to finish by the time we go to SA at the end of August.

Now that things are back to normal we are hoping to do a trip, somewhere in the Karnataka State, soon.

Watch this space!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

LOL ;) Brides wanted ads

I Received an e-mail with these brides wanted ads taken from a prominent online matrimonial site. This is too funny. I don't think I can form proper sentences after reading this…

These are actual ads. Grammar and spell errors have no place in a profile description as everything is straight from the heart!

Disclaimer: I am not responsible if you forget your basic grammar after reading this mail...
Hello To Viewers My Name is Shekhar, I am single i don'thave female, If anyone want to Marie to me u can visit to my home. I am nota good education but i working all field in bangalroe.. if u like meu welcome to my heart...when ever u want to meet pls visit my resident or send u letter.. Thanks yours Regards Shekhar ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wants a woman who knows me better and can adjust with me forever. she may never create any difficulties in my life or her life bywhich the entire life can run smoothly. thank you
I am a happy-go-lucky kind of person. Enjoys every moments of life. I love to make friendship. Because friendship is a first step oflove. am looking for my dreamgirl who will love me more than i.Because i love myself a lot. If u think that is u then why to late come on ........hold my hand forever !!!
i am simple boy.I have lot of problem in my life because of myluck now i am looking one gal she care me and love me lot lot lot
i want a girl with no drinks if she wants she can wear jeansin house but while stepping out of house she should give respect to our cast.
whatever she may be but she should feel that she is going to be someone bride and she must think of the future life if she is too likethis she would be called the woman of the lamp ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
i love my patner i marriage the patner ok i search my patnerand i love thepatner ok thik hai the patner has a graduate ok
I my name is muhamad and i am unmarried. pleaes you marrige mepleaes pleaes pleaes pleaes pleaes pleaes pleaes
I want one girl who love me or my mother. she love me heartly or she havea frank she's skin colour 'normal'not a black or not awhitey. IThink the main think is heart if your heart is beautiful thenyou are beautiful. but iam not a handsome guy or not a good looking. but my Mom say that Iam a good guy. My father already expired . THE CHOICE IS YOUR. bye bye. (uttama purushan) This is my favorite!!
hello i am a good charactarised man. i want to run my life happily.i divorced my first wife.her charactor is not good'. i expectthe good minded and clean habits girl who may be in the same caste orother caste accepted

Monday, June 11, 2007

Race Day - 9 June

It was another day at the races from 1 to 5:30pm on Saturday. What fun!! There were close to 75 people all dressed smartly in their suits, dresses and some of us even with hats.

We enjoyed a buffet Indian lunch, open drinks bar as well as high tea. But the main attraction of course was the betting. I could become a regular at the horse races...It is just really great fun!

Marc and I wouldn't exactly have made the bookies rich with our Rs. 50 - 100 bets. We made small bets on all 8 races and in the end only lost Rs.150.

Rs.100 or 1 Lack, it is still very exciting when your horse wins. We are looking foward to the next Race Day.

The Turquoise Ladies - Lis, myself and Edith

Marc and I

Frances and Rita mingling

Nicky and Bev

Angelica, Kim and Wiliam

Sunday, June 10, 2007


We were greeted at Heathrow airport by Parish (SA) and Sian (UK) and their two boys. We dropped of our luggage in Finchley were we stayed for two nights, thanks to Sian's parents who kindly put us up in one of their vacant apartments across the road from them.

Later that afternoon we went back to the Schertel residence in Ware. After 7 years in London, we were happy to see that Parish hasn't lost his BBQ'ing skills and with Sian's great culinary skills to compliment his. We spent the afternoon in the summer sun which I was told is not very common in the UK. I was of course very happy to have such perfect tourist weather for my 1st time to London.

Marc working for his lunch!

Parish and Sian

Euan and Connor

By this time I had made one observation about London and that was that out of probably 10 people I over heard talking, only 2 were English. Still can't get over that! Nor can the English, I'm sure!

Later that evening we met up with Donald and Gaylene (SA) in Soho at a bar/club called the "Friendly Society" or something like that. The bar had barbie dolls stuck to the ceiling on the one side and small mirror balls on the other. We went to China Town for dinner (We just can't seem to escape the East or is it that the East can't escape us)...
Gaylene, myself and Marc

Donald and Parish - The rainbow boys

Walking down the street in Soho

Most of the evening was spent reminiscing, as friends do that are scattered all over the world. Marc, Donald and Parish have been friends for 10+ years and it was great listening to the stories, achievements and dreams.

The next day we did the tourist trek around the Thames, London Eye, Big Ben, lunch near London Tower, saw the bridge being raised etc. etc. We tried to book a show but unfortunately couldn't get seats and the ones we could get seats for cost 60 Pound per person, which if you multiply by 14 is the price for a weekend away so we figured we'll give it a miss. Hopefully next time.

Marc posing for such a tourist shot.

The gang

Sian's family - Savaughn and Marcelle (SA), Ola, Parish and Brian. They must really like South African's as two out of the 3 sisters have SA men.
Pat, Sian, myself and Marc

We had a nice evening out on Saturday night - walking through Covent Garden looking for a restaurant. We had great dinner - Pizza and wine of course complimented by great company.

Parish entertained us with his excellent impersonation of Jack Nicholson in a Few good men.

Sunday morning we walked through Camden Market and I was once again amazed by the choices on offer (Wow) but of course it came at a price. R60 for 3 donuts... Marc, was very sorry that he had a sweet tooth and bought two.
Later that afternoon we checked into our hotel in West Kingsinton. Marc and I did more tourist things, walking around Buckingham Palace, Picadilly Circus, Burger King at Lester Squere.

It was really the end of the holiday for Marc as he had meetings the whole day Monday and one on Tuesday morning. On Monday I got to walk through Noting Hill, Portobello street, Hyde Park and the famous Oxford street and later that evening Marc and I went past Harrod's (it was closed, but I couldn't go to London and not at least see it).

Tuesday morning I packed up while Marc had his meeting and when he got back to the hotel we set off to take a bus, a train and our 2:35 plane back to Bangalore.

And here we are... Back in India, suffering from a little bit of culture shock after spending 3 weeks in Europe. It won't be long though, and we'll be back into the India swing of things.

A post on the India " swing of things" to follow shortly!

Europe in the summer time

At 5:30am on the 22nd of May, Hayley kindly escorted me to the train station in Plzen for my next leg of my travels to Linz/Austria. I needed to go via Austria to Germany as per the Czech Republic transit visa regulations. I could transit through for a max of 5 days on my Schengen Visa. I was happy to do this as it saved me having to apply for a visa for the Czech.

I was very proud and happy with myself for becoming such a world travel, as Marc calls me. From gleis, to gleis (platform) between Germany, The Czech, Austria with changes and 1 hour stop over's "I did it"....I bought my ticket to Singen and made myself comfortable on the train for a 4 hour trip to Nuremberg where I should change to Stuttgart. I noticed that I have a change at Saalfield which I then thought was probably just a different route. I had this niggling feeling inside though, a little voice that luckily made me confirm this, 15 min before we arrived in Nuremberg. To make a long story short: I had a ticket to Singen near Berlin (OOPS). Thanks to a helpful, friendly (English speaking) DB staff member on the train, I arrived in the correct Singen near the Bodensee where Hans and Nola collect me, on time.

A couple of minutes later we arrived in Hemmenhofen, where once again I was spoilt. We enjoyed a delicious meal (one of many) and as per usual Hans had a list of beverages to choose from. This time I felt like "Pretty Woman" with strawberries and champagne, almost on tap over the next couple of days. The next day we enjoyed a BBQ lunch with bruschetta, beer next to lake, delicious home made pizza and more prosecco and straw's.

The picturesque Lake (Bodensee).

Ice Cream in Geienhofen.

A great spot under the trees.

While I was living the good life, Marc was on a flight to Frankfurt, looking forward to do the same. On the 24th he took a train from Frankfurt to Stuttgart where we collected him. We picked up Omi and had a lovely German lunch. Back at Omi's flat we had coffee and yummy strawberry, chocolate cake. I seems that, eating was our favourite pass time in Germany. It was!!! Well, that and going into supermarkets and just looking at all the amazing food stuffs that I only dream of here in Bangalore.

Handy man Hans arrived at Omi's flat, ready to fix any problem she may have. It's a good thing Omi still has her wits about her otherwise she might have got a fright when she opened the door.
Lunch at a German restaurant. Ein Schnitzel und ein Randler (beer shandy) bitte?

Friday we went through to Zurich (60km from where Marc's parent's live). Marc and Hans had a meeting while Nola and I just wondered through the streets. I started feeling a little flu'e on Thursday and didn't feel great but I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to cross Zürich of my list. Once again just window shopping down Bahnhofstrasse, this time not because it was a public holiday but just because Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Tiffany and Co and the likes are not really my scene. Ok, Ok...I wish it was my scene. Never the less it's always good to see how the other half lives. Even more fascinating..walk, on gobble stone streets in their high heels. Also, if you like wearing a suit boys...Zurich is the place to be!

Walking the streets of Zurich.

We drove through the beautiful Swizz country side, stopped off on the hill top for some refreshments before heading back to Hemmenhofen.

By Friday it sounded like my voices was giving up the ghost and when I woke up on Saturday morning it had. For the next 4 days you could say "I ran out of talk time" and for those of you that know me..."I bet you can't imagine that"!!

We still made the best of our holiday. A walk through Stein am Rhein, a Fest with a couple of brass bands.

Stein Am Rein - Positioned at the point where the Untersee arm of the Bodensee narrows into the Rhine 20km east of Schaffhausen, little STEIN-AM-RHEIN is an almost perfectly preserved medieval village, famed throughout Switzerland for the intricacy of the sixteenth-century frescoes which adorn an array of houses in the village.


a 50 piece brass band...a real cacophony but yet quite catchy (for some)!

Marc took the rubber dingy for a test paddle on the lake. Unfortunately I didn't go with as I didn't want to end up with pneumonia. Next time...
More beer under the tree

Best home made pizza we've ever tasted (bacon, salami, olives, rosemary, onions, garlic, cheese, sun dried tomatoes)! Yum!!

We took a drive out to a "Wild West" village where they have a breeding programme for American Bison. Marc couldn't resist the totem pole's temptation to pose as "Big chief standing bull"!

On Wednesday we drove to Frankfurt, stopped off at a brewery for a taste of the local Bavarian brew before heading to Bernd and Marianne's.
The Mass of beer was almost bigger than Nola!

"How nice is this"?

Flori, sprecht hund!! This dog must be the cleverest I've ever seen. She led the way on our forest walks and even barks when Bernd asks her "how does a dog speak" amongs other doggy tricks!

Hans and Bernd schprechen sie Deutsch! Probably discussing their hunting tactics, or was it their investment tactics.

Thursday morning Nola, Marianne, Me, Marc and Hans drove through to Frankfurt. I guess this was mostly for my benefit as it is another city I can now cross of the list. And it was worth it...history, great shops - again mostly window shopping:-(, people watching, great fashion, Döner Kebab, and Haagen-Dazs ice cream.
Me, Marianne and Nola

Hans giving the back ground on his old stomping grounds.

Haagen-Dazs; I'd have to say "the best ice cream I've ever eaten"!

I loved this street...

We had dinner and later Hans and Bernd went off to sit in the Hochstand (a raised hide) as Bernd has hunting rights in his forest. Marc in turn chose to just observe the forest wild life. The ladies enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine and liqueur while I gave Marianne a 1:1 lesson on her new handy.

The Stipproweit's, Beuthe's and me

At 4:15 on Friday morning it was raise and shine....London here we come!

Breakfast (O, how I miss those breakfasts), farewell to Nola and Marianne and off we went in the speed wagon to Frankfurt airport. We said our last goodbyes to Hans and Bernd and bid Germany "aufs Wiedersehn" until next time. "Hope to see you soon"!

Thanks again Hans, Nola, Bernd and Marianne for everything!