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Showing posts from June, 2008

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Morning glory

Among friends, acquaintances and dubious well-wishers, I have this reputation for... umm... masochism. I think that's unfair and have denied it vigourously time and again, no no avail. Personally, I think that if there is some sort of divine whathaveyou hovering around the place, he/she/it is out to get me. The number of times I've been left with no recourse but to shrug, direct a few choice phrases toward providence and march on was already teetering on the edge of scandalous but today... today, let's just say that my guardian angel and I have some urgent contract negotations to discuss. I shall elaborate...

I'm in the bath this morning and have just gotten past the soaping stage when the lights go off. Ordinarily, this should not hinder anyone from bathing but the electricity and water here have a delightful relationship - no lights, no water. I don't forsee a problem however, because our building has a generator. So I wait.

45 minutes later, still covered in soap…

Electric blues

You know the scenario... there you are, sauntering along the street, minding your own business and whistling tunelessly. Maybe the sun isn't shining. Birds may not be chirping away in the trees. All may not be joy, jollity and song. But, things are not gloom and doom either. While there isn't a spring in your step, there definitely isn't a droop in your shoulders either. Maybe... err, I suppose you do get it. Anyway, like I said, you are sauntering. Then, it happens. Of course it does. You either walk into a lamp-post or fall down an open manhole.

I contemplated leaving my laptop in Birmingham. It made sense to do so, considering my destination. Apart from the numerous horrible and highly imaginative tragedies that could have befallen it, that laptop is very heavy and I was not looking forward to giving my best Quasimodo impression as I lugged it all over. I discussed the matter with Grandpa. It was one of the days the neurons were firing in that cranium because he eventua…

Dancing in the Dark

A few epiphanies have made their presence felt over the past week. Here goes:
You come prepared to face gale-force winds and sheets of rain and are instead greeted with 38 degree C heat and 91 % humidity. Every day. For 3 weeks, to date !! To say you feel cheated would be an understatement.
You may be open-minded about different cuisines but the dish that makes you genuinely happy is the saada-dosa. Of course, you realize that the fantastic Udupi restaurant you discovered only in week 3 is right next to the Thai place you have been manfully frequenting. Hidden by a cunningly-placed potted plant, mind you.Your colleagues and boss are smokers and you are not. Ergo, your chances of receiving any pertinent information as regards the workplace are dead in the water. And it does not make an iota of difference giving any of them the cold cod eye as they discuss things to death since they can't see a damn thing through the nicotine cloud anyway.
You are anti-social. Quite likely schizoid. Wh…

Another day in paradise

I chose this internship for the work, it's true, but also because the opportunity to travel to a new country and culture was quite irresistible. Friends were envious and family were resigning themselves to another in a long list of whimsies they'd been presented with over the years... by me. So, there was definitely a bit of chagrin in the air when I realized that I'd been in Phnom for 2 weeks and had not seen a single place of interest. Not even a done-to-death tourist spot, and many abound in a country that peddles the name of Angkor so desperately that a local beer has been named after it. And it's not even good beer...

And so, I went to see Tuol Sleng. Most people would have started out with the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda or even Wat Phnom. Knowing that these monuments were not famous for getting up and leaving in the dead of night, I am still in no hurry to see them. But, even before I came to Cambodia, I knew about Tuol Sleng... and am glad it was the first p…