Friday, 20 July 2007

Nature at its most spectacular - during the rainy season the Andamans are lashed with thunder, lightning, winds and torrential rains - you can just about hear the lush green vegetation squeaking with delight! And this is what it looks like when the sun shines.

Calm evening over Phoenix Bay.

So what exactly is ......

.........boat chatting??

This is completely beyond me, and those I have asked.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Getting over it

I love Indian English – there is always an elegant and often quaint way of expressing yourself and always a new gem. For example, I am no longer puzzled when I am asked to “open my shoes” and I know to take my shoes off.

Living in the south has some brought some wonderful new examples for me. Levels of English are very high here and I still smile when I remember, just after our arrival in Chennai, overhearing two elderly gents having a disagreement in the street. "..........yes, but sir, that is not MY botheration..............."

However, yesterday I realised that sometimes our English is not easy to understand unless we use certain expressions. My cooking gas cylinder has run out of gas and I spoke to the landlady, who handles these things for her tenants. Her English is excellent and it makes our life very easy. So I was not prepared for the blank look when I told her that the gas was finished. So I tried again

“The gas cylinder – it is empty”

Still confusion.

“Erm – cylinder has no gas” (struggle, struggle)

“you know cooking not possible”. By now I was miming cooking actions…….

And in final desperation,

“Gas illeh” (I am not sure how it is spelt but illeh means ‘no’ or ‘ there isn't any’ in Tamil).

Finally she smiled - “you mean the gas is getting over?” she asked me simply, clearly wondering, why on earth I had not just said that.

“Yes, yes!” I said “yes, the gas is getting over”.

Next time I will know to say that the gas is getting over, and try not to wonder - getting over what? A serious illness? A broken relationship? Or just getting over itself?

New swimming style

Part of my recovery strategy is to build up my strength and stamina through swimming which I love. So tonight I ventured out to the nearby hotel where I often luxuriate in a long swim and was delighted to find that the pool was completely empty - marvellous! After my recent tummy troubles however, I found that an old back injury was giving a little twinge so to ensure that I didn't aggravate it I experimented to find a swimming style which would work the right muscles. After all you can't pay 200 rupees and then find you can't swim - no Scot could allow that. I am not a crawl person - you can't keep your head above water and your glasses on for that so that one was out of the question, similarly butterfly is not my scene either. So I very quickly settled in to a steady and gentle breast stroke with the arms and a kind of crawl movement with the feet. Perfect - no aggravation, no waste of rupees and steady building of strength and stamina.

But as I was swimming up and down the pool, I started to wonder what this amazing new stroke would be called? I thought it should be either the crest or the brawl being a hybrid of breast and crawl. Given the dignified nature and steady sight I felt I must be, I decided on the crest - how elegant and flowing. And besides I see so many examples in the pool of the other stroke - the macho guys ploughing up and down, arms and legs everywhere, splashing water from one side to the other and managing to take up the whole pool. This so closely resembles a one man fight in a swimming pool it just has to be called the brawl!

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Off the radar

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!

Well there I was, catching up with everything since my Bangladesh visit, mulling over the wealth of airline and flying anecdotes to share here, when I was totally grounded! After several weeks of general dodginess in the gastro-enteral (enteric? well you know where I mean) region, I finally succumbed to some really spectacular lurgey and was totally off the screen, too sick initially to face going to the doctor, can you imagine! (And to be honest with too great a dependency on my own familiar bathroom). Now I have some wonderfully foul tasting and equally spectacular horse pills to tackle both sets of visitors which had taken up residence and are now in the process of eviction.

That is why there has been no word from FBG.

The good news is that these pills might taste disgusting but they seem to be doing the trick as I am already feeling much better and the energy levels restoring nicely.

So another game of catch up beckons, which includes the imminent posting of travel tips including "how to stay upright with a sleeping child on your shoulder during take-off" and "the advantages of serving in-flight catering before take-off".

More very soon from the temporarily fusty green sicko.