Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Monkey gangs

It's wednesday afternoon, mucchhh cooler than the past week as the sun isn't out today so probably only around 30 C and not as humid. Last night here in the city then tmr evening we head off back to the village for a night or 2 en-route to that health place. it's a night coach where they have beds apparently.

I hope it keeps me busy for the next 2 months. I was looking at the website for the place and one part stood out:

Urine Therapy – Rich in valuable minerals and other useful elements, urine can be a powerful treatment. Whether used topically or taken internally, urine's anti-bacterial properties effectively fight skin disorders and improve impaired vision.

We all need a bit of piss therapy sometimes. Some of the more thoughtful are kind enough to give it to their partners.

Lets talk about Pound Shops. I was surprised to hear they have a One Rupee store here. WTF! 1 rupee is around 1 pence. A store where all items are 1 pence???? I want to see this place. What do they sell??? Fucking dust?

Lets talking about cyclists. Its funny how all the car drivers haaateee motorcyclists/bicyclists. They never move out of the way for them! If ones coming they don't mind heading straight for them! As if they're not even there. Traffic is so tight here in the city of Ahmedabad. At the traffic lights, its like the start of a race. they fill every single little gap. bikes and rickshaws 3 inches away from your either side of the car. No wonder they all fold their wing mirrors in and don't use them. And above their traffic lights there's a countdown timer of when its going to change. And they always start moving with 3 or 4 seconds left. Nutters.

Lets talk about monkey gangs. On the way to somewhere, we saw a wall near our house with like 10 monkeys sitting there. And aunt was telling us how they rob ppl sometimes! they get into groups of like 10 or 15 monkeys, and as your walking home from shopping or something, if your food is on display, they'll mugs ya! Snatch it off you and leg it. Funnyyyyyyy.

She told us how one time they found a monkey in their living room sitting there eating a banana!! That must have been hilarious. They get scared easily tho and leg it, grabbing whatever food they can on their way out, be it a potato or whatever. They're quite big tho. So i can see why some ppl are scared of them.

Laser eye surgery, I've done it! They have a telly in the reception area showing the procedure being done live. A bit scary! I wouldn't be surprised if ppl have just cancelled while they're waiting!

First they clamp ur head and eye to keep it still. The clamping is really tight and hurt a bit. They use a scalpel or something to cut open the upper layer of the cornea, and leave one bit so it opens like a flap, then wipe what's under it with this little wiping thing, then the laser is used on it for 5 or 10 seconds. U can still see with your upper cornea open, but blurry. The laser seems to dot away randomly to kind of cut away a thin layer of the inner cornea or whatever to correct your sight.

Then they close the flap and give u a painkiller to eat cos pain starts soon after. Its like a bad eye ache. A headache behind your eyes for an hour or 2 and then its gone. then u just gotta keep your eyes shut as much as possible for the next 24-48 hours. Sight is very blurry at this stage and gets clearer over the next 2 days til its pretty much clear. Eyes get dry very easily tho so they give u drops for a few months. And now i can see perfectly! Total cost 32'000R = 375 quid.

Went to the movies yesterday with my cousin and his mate to watch Da Vinci Code. Not very comfortable. The movie screen is so high up you get neck strain.

That is all for today. Good day.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Exam results

Oh yes! I got them. My cousin checked for me back in the UK and texted me them. I'm very pleased. i thought i did quite well, but i did even better. I've surprised myself cos i was a bit low on iron during the last 2 weeks of revision and kept taking a few naps per day and only really got going in revision on the day before the exam. But luckily i attended nearly all lectures and so it was just a case of recapping everything.

I got the best mark on the exam i thought did the worst in, and the worst mark on the paper i thought i probably did the best in. Very strange.

4 exams, 65%, 70%, 79%, 83% ! Taking coursework into account, the 2nd year has finished at 72%, i'm on course for a 1st ! Woooooop. Altho this year was only worth 25% of degree. Final year is worth a huge 75%. So i still need 70% in the final year to get the 1st.

The loo's, the servants and the rules of driving

The driving is fascinating here. There are now far more scooters on the roads here than cars. Ahmedabad is quite crazy, very very busy roads. and the rules, as most of u may know are quite strange.

Constant horning is a must. You don't horn to let them know they did something wrong, but horn to let someone know your near them. Cos they don't really use their mirrors here but rather the sound of horns around them. On the back of lorries there's signs saying "PLEASE HORN OK".

When there are 2 lanes, traffic for both directions, both lanes are often used by the cars going in each direction, one for each direction. But the other direction lane is also used for overtaking, which is very often. So you see traffic going both ways on both lanes! It's quite scary when you overtake cos you often see cars heading straight for you, at 60mph, but there seems to be a trust between the drivers so they don't even slow down! They trust you'll finish the overtaking in time so they don't bother slowing down.

But the amount of crashed or overturned lorries we saw was scary! During that 7 hour journey both ways, I counted around 6 crashed/overturned lorries/coaches/cars. Some in a very bad state. In the middle of nowhere, an ambulance wont come to your rescue. If ur badly injured, You're a goner.

Another thing i noticed, if a driver gets pissed off with another driver, they sometimes shout out to them and call them Bhai (brother) "Are bhaaaiii suu karo choooo!!!".

We hear this term a lot in the UK with the rudeboys, "bro/bruv". Now u know. They're not trying to be black, they're going back to their roots! The earliest forms of rudeboy-ism started here in India.

Lets talk about toilets. they have these wonderful little fountains in the toilets now that wash your arse. After you done your business, you stay sat, and open this tap and it sprays water along your bum crack, and you kinda adjust your arse around so it hits the right spot and let the water run for 10, 20, 30 secs whatever. You do need tissue tho sometimes, as water alone isn't perfect at removing the shite completely. And obviously to dry your ass. You don't wanna walk out of the loo with a huge wet patch across your backside. I want these fountain toilets in my house back home!

Lets talk about servants. They have one here in Ahmedabad. A young man. Amazing cook. Speaks Hindi tho so i dunno how to communicate with him if i want something apart from Gujarati to him, hoping he understood the gist of what i said, and then i get Hindi back from him and i try to understand the gist of what he said.

Feel a bit sorry for him tho. Cos he's married and recently had a first daughter born, but he has to live here 24/7. The rellies are away for 2 nights tho at the moment so he can go visit his wife and new baby for like half the day today and tmr. But otherwise i think he only gets like an hour or so everyday then back here. Tis life tho, tis life.

Lets talk about FOOOOTBAAAALLLL. I'm well pleased to have seen yesterdays match too. was a good match. apart from our awful awful finishing i thought we played okay. made lots and lots of chances which is the important thing. and Rooney's back!



Not sure if I'll be able to see the final group game on tuesday, cos its showing at 12:30am here. Everyone hits the bed at 11pm in this house, on the dot, but I'll ask uncle to see if its okay to be up til 2:15am. He's a bit intimidating tho. A very charming, persuasive, assertive, confident businessman.

6:30pm here now. Gonna watch another game as me and mum are home alone, Argentina vs Serbia Montenegro.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Perfect vision coming up!

We made some enquiries about laser eye surgery yesterday and decided to go with a recommendation someone in UK gave me (cheers shorty!). They rang them up and told em the usual lines "WE'RE LONDONERS! WE'RE ONLY HERE A FEW FUCKING DAYS BASTARDS SO GIVE US AN APPT RIGHT AWAY! FRONT OF THE QUEUE! WE'RE FUCKING LONDONERRRSSSS!!!" etc (i added the swearing for fun).

My rellies seem to use that kind of line a lot. I bought some suits last week and the date they said to pick it up, straight away my aunts like, "they're fucking Londoners bastards, they're off in a few days, stop being so cuntish and get it done on this day!" (again, added swearing for fun). And they're like "yes sir yes sir three bags full sir".

Anyway, where was i... the laser eye surgery, they gave us check up the next day which is today, and rellies are away for a few days so they got a friend to take us there and they did all these tests n shit. Really nice place, clean, AC, spotless. Then they put eye drops in my eyes and it started to sting.

I notice one thing in India, they never warn you of what's going to happen. I told em its burning and they said its normal. In the UK they would have told you exactly what they're gonna do and what's gonna happen "i'm now going to put some eye-drops in your eyes and it will sting a little for a minute" etc. Not here! What they do is just say "DROPS :|" in the Indian accent and shove it in half a second later. And i met the surgeon after, he said he studied in Leicester in the 70's. They'll do the surgery tmr, so quick! I guess its cos "we're fucking londonerrrssss bastarrrrdsssssss!"

Very good prices too. they have 2 methods, something called PRK method which they also called the classic method, costing 22'000R = 260 pounds. or the newer wavefront or waveform, cant remember which one they said, at 32'000R, 375 quid. this is the better method so i went for that as its still a bargain compared to the UK.

After that im off to Maandvi to one of those ayurvedic and other alternative therapy centres where u live there for a few months to see if they can sort out my ulcerative colitis.

We chatted to a few medical doctors first to hear their opinion but they're very quick to suggest surgery here. We saw a Dr Thakkar first, and he said he'd need to do an endoscopy (camera up da bummay) in a few days. Nice. But i asked him if i can be put to sleep for it and he said yeah so that's cool. It's best to be knocked out when you get a 3 foot long, inch thick tube shoved up your arse. I've had it twice before in the UK and was knocked out for them too.

So they told me to go next door, not telling me why. And some dark little Indian man in the room mutters something like "chaddi utarinaak" and some other stuff i didn't understand. Which is pretty much "drop your pants". And im like "okaayyyy". So i drop em and ask him to speak English cos the guji around here is really strong i cant understand it properly, its like a different dialect so he says to lie down on this bed which i fucking hope they cleaned cos this place didn't look too clean.

Then the doc comes and shoves SOMETHING up my arse without warning. Maybe his fucking finger. WHY DON'T THEY FUCKIN WARN US. Then i went back into the main room and he prescribed some antacids cos he said my arse is acidic. And told us to take a preparation drink type thing on the morning of the endoscopy to clear out my bowels. BYE TOSSER.

On the day, i start taking it, 2 litres over 2 hours. Quite a lot and it makes u shit out the same stuff. I went around 9 times in total over 3 hours. My arse was really burning i don't know why. I guess the acidity. I couldn't even sit down at the end of it so i decided to take a painkiller, co-proxamol, one hell of a strong painkiller :) makes u feel a bit high too :) and i could then sit :)

Endoscopy time and "chaddi uttarnaakyu" time again (drop pants). and the dude in the room takes my clothes from me and chucks em on the fucking floor!!

I made sure they were gonna put me to sleep which they said yes to. injected me with the anaesthetic, and i felt a sliiight drowsyness a few seconds later... and i was just waiting to knock out. about a minute passed and i was still awake and they started the endoscopy, shoving that 3 foot thing up the bummay. AND IT FUCKING HURT!!!!! I HADN'T FALLEN ASLEEP! Nowhere near it. Just a slight drowsiness thats all! And even that was gone after i felt the pain. And they put a telly near my face. In case i wanna watch, to keep your mind off the pain i guess. *queue some loud groans*

At the end of it, i asked him why i didn't fall asleep and the fucker muttered something about wrong dose or needing higher dose or some shit. COMMUNICATE YOU BASTARD.

We saw the doc after and he said my bowels are very very bad and strongly suggested surgery (removing the whole bowel/large intestine) in the UK as its a long process and hence would take too long in India. I was surprised, because with this condition you know the state of your bowels by how often you shit and the state of it. And it was pretty good at the moment. He asked if i wanted steroids but cos things weren't that bad i declined. I felt it was a slight overreaction cos my symptoms weren't too bad.

Anyway, back home i eat etc, have a nap. and my first shit i have the runs. Next shit, worse runs. Next day, all day bad runs, 7 times! 3 days of runs. i didn't know why! This has never happened with previous endoscopy's. i start to think and realise the difference with this one is this preparation that i drank. Didn't do that in the UK endoscopy's and i reckon it actually temporarily inflamed my bowels just before the endoscopy and what the doc saw was this inflamed bowel which isn't normally how it is, hence his suggestion of surgery. My bowels certainly were as bad as he said now! so i went on steroids for a few days to sort that out. So i'm gonna ignore the calls for surgery for now and get UK docs opinion when i'm back cos i reckon that fucking drink messed me up and hence they didn't get a proper endoscopy. But i couldn't be arsed with contacting them again. I came for alternative stuff really but just thought id get medical docs opinion as well. They let me keep the endoscopy video too :)

So next week we're off to Maandvi for alternative treatment! Should be good. Own room, en-suite, telly, AC. I'll be able to watch the rest of the world cup!

NOT a pleasant week

Well its not been the most pleasant week. Its been 9 days since i arrived at our city relatives place, which is a really nice place. Spotless, not a machar in sight. My mum needed to go back to to the village to withdraw money from her bank in India cos we have a lot building up here from renting our house. And apparently you cant transfer money around India like in the UK (we later found out that we can). So we headed off on the 7 hour, 250 MILE car journey at 5am, with one of our drivers after about 2 days here in the city.

It was interesting at first, driving through town after town, village after village, and all the emptiness in between, which is now slowly being filled by factories in the middle of nowhere! When i was last here 8 years ago, you'd find nothing in between towns apart from a few animals or ppl walking. But cos of the recent boom in industry in India, these factories are popping up in these places cos its so cheap to run here.

So yeah the ride was interesting... til i needed a fucking shite! And for a person with my condition, ulcerative colitis, when u need to shite U NEED TO SHITE. It was around 9am, around halfway thru our journey and we stopped at a cafe in the middle of nowhere and so the driver and some other random dude who was in the car can get refreshments. me and mum wouldn't eat from these places in case we get ill from the food. these Indians, their bodies are used to eating dodgy food, where a hundred flies have sat on it before u get to eat it, and probably shat on it with their tiny fly-poo.

Anyway i needed to poo, and i strained with all my might to hold it in til the next stop, cos the driver said he'd take us to a hotel loo nearby which are nice, apparently. it is not a nice feeling holding poo cos u end up feeling so hot when your straining. anyway, i managed to not skid my pants and we arrived at "A1 Plaza" in the the middle of nowhere. Fuck knows who uses hotels in the middle of nowhere. Looked half decent too hygiene-wise. Walked in with my loo roll that i take with me everywhere, and asked them where the fuck the loo was and he said its 5 rupees to use it lol. So our driver paid for it cos i didn't have any cash on me, and he went to one of the cubicles and took the padlock off. I went in and just literally burst :) it was quite something :) i hope that 5 rupees covers the cleaning bill mehehe.

Anyway, we then continued on our journey and arrived at one our close relatives place, in the village of Madhapar, near Bhuj. Nice little close-knit village and aunt cooked for us. She's very old tho and sight isn't the greatest, and there were loads of red ants all over the dining table eww. i instantly lifted my legs up off the floor in case there's any there trying to crawl up my legs. UK blood is a delicacy for Indian red ants. Food was nice tho. As nice as it can be when you're worrying there may be red ants in the food too.

Then a few hours later we moved on to our main place, in the village of Kera where our closest India relatives live. Stayed there for 2 nights, while mum withdrew her money etc. Had to eat out at various relatives and friends places in the village cos they love Londoners and kept insisting we eat there cos they know my mum very well. but boy they are not clean. You cant even find soap to wash your hands with. just water. and you see them wipe the sweat off their faces with their hands and carry on cooking the roti. But you just gotta try and ignore that.

The last evening there was the day of the first England match and i was able to watch it! I WAS SO HAPPY! i was happily watching it, but around 30 mins into a huge fucking sign comes across the screen "payments overdue on this account". WTF. All i could see was a small border around the edge of the screen. So it was pretty much just commentary. But it was alright, as it was still live! Tonight another match is on and i'll be able to watch that too, i'm so glad. I really love the world cup.

Man i cant even be bothered with this entry now, I'm getting too hot just sitting here for this long. Feels like 30 degrees indoors, even tho the fans on and i don't like taking the piss with the AC all the time cos they hardly ever use it themselves. and mum moans so much too cos she don't wanna seem like we're rinsing the electricity bill, so I'll continue this with another entry tmr, or maybe later today...... including my awful endoscopy experience (camera up the bum)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

NOT a pleasant journey

Here i am in india at rellies house on the internet for the first time. WHAT a bastard journey. An hour before departure (sunday 5:25pm) we hear a quiet message on the tannoy "will all passengers for flight AI120 go to the transfer desk". That's all. They don't say where this desk is or even translate the message to Hindi so that everyone else could understand it seeing as the flight was 90% freshies.

So i get to the desk and they tell us the flight has been cancelled cos of a dodgy wing or fan or something, and they are gonna put us up in a hotel for the night. It took about an hour and a half before the rest of the passengers arrived to this desk and boy did they shout and complain India style!! one dude was shouting at the desk person so much, telling him off! I thought he was going to take his chappal off at one point! He just kept shouting so they had to call police to calm him and everyone else down.

There were so many rumours flying about started by the paranoid passengers. Here's a selection:
- They've actually cancelled the flight cos there were only enough passengers to fill half the plane so they didn't wanna make a financial loss on the flight.
- They're now gonna put us all in a big hall to sleep on the floor overnight.

The next flight for us was set at 6pm the following day.

Then they had us waiting bout another hour and a half for a coach to take us to the hotel. I was knackered from all the standing with the hand luggage. And when the first coach finally arrived, it was pure havoc. Ppl were pushing and shoving like free money was being given out. This was a taste of India right here in Heathrow airport.

Felt great to get to the hotel. Luckily my mums experienced in pushing and shoving and did it right back haha, and got us near the front of the queue to check in. THANK GOD. Cos it was one HUGE queue which took about an hour and a half to finish. The hotel free food was pretty nice.

The next day at around 3pm, an airport dude comes to the hotel to give us an update and says the planes not certain to leave tonight either. Ppl went nutttsss again and surrounded him. Rumours again flew around "we have to pay for this 2nd night at the hotel now". Bloody freshies.

He came back an hour later tho to confirm it will take off tonight. Couldn't hear the time tho cos everyone was still surrounding him like ants. The coaches arrived soon after, and everyone again pushed and shoved like animals. We get to the airport at 6pm and on the screen it said it departs at 6pm. But they waited til everyone was on board and departed at 7:30pm. And the plane was more than half empty. Everyone had a row to them self. I had 3 seats to lie down straight and have a nice sleep. My mum went a row behind to do the same.

Such beautiful monsters

What a view

Err you can probably guess where we are now

Arrive at Ahmedabad airport at 7am. A tinnnyyy airport! They had a "DUTY FREE" sign in front of the only two little shops ahaha.

We're off to Bhuj later to my dads side relatives. 5 hour car journey. I hate long car journeys. Then we train it back on the weekend. I'm gonna FRIKKIN MISS THE ENGLAND GAME cos we'll be on the train at the time of it i think. A late evening train on saturday.

That'll do for now. Can't be arsed any more. Just wanna sleep all day. It's quite boring here. There's only my maami and maama, and my mum and me. Oh and the servant.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Off to India in 48 hours

In 48 hours i will be on the Air India flight going to Ahmedabad! I love plane rides. I prefer the non-8 hour ones though. I hope i get a window seat.

HENCEFORTH this shall be my blog where all my fans will read what i write. Hopefully laugh loud, to the extent they spit out some saliva, and then post about it and boost my ego. You don't have to sign up or anything to post reply comments btw.

48 hours left... but i am yet to pack. The suitcase arrived in my room a few hours ago with a few pre-packed items. Some strange boxes that my mum put in there. Probably a package we are taking for someone else... As Indians often do. Funny how we never see what's inside. We always get told something like "yeah its just some aanthru/gaatia/chevro. Pass it onto my Maavji Kaka".

WHAT. 14 KG'S OF IT?? I'm sure on the odd occasion we have unknowingly delivered some illegal class-A drugs or some type of weapon of mass destruction to an international criminal in Gujarati disguise with the code-name Maavji Kaka.

Anyway, i shall now eat and then COMMENCE THE PACKING. Flippin shove everything in there I will. Yeah baby.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

What Rishi does with computer mice

My nephew, Rishi, comes into my room and saw the 2 old mice i had on the floor that i no longer use.

What does he do with them?

Hello? Hello? Anyone there?