Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Daze of our lives!

Talk about weird. I've certainly had an odd week - and when I tell you what's been going on you'll understand why I've been out of touch.
So, last Thursday I went to Olive Restaurant, right? Then Friday I blogged all about it, and since then...
First of all the summer power cuts kicked in, with the house plunged into warm inky blackness on Friday afternoon. So no internet. Carmen arrived back from Goa on Friday night - nobody bothered to tell me she was coming - and promptly announced that she was flying to Spain on Sunday night. Family 'issues' I think you could call it. Saturday no internet - but that was kinda OK as I was busy at the pool. Then in the afternoon  Louella and I sat in Carmen's room eating samosas and drinking whisky or rum. Every 'proper' Indian bedroom also has a lounge etc in it so you can just sit in there and ignore the rest of the family - it's a very Indian thing!
That night I went to Bennigans in Greater Kailash with Manish. A totally different karaoke crowd - most people were damned good. The best thing was a foreign family were there with their 2 kids, eating dinner, when the karaoke started. The young boy was busting to sing, so got up and asked if he could sing 'Livin on a Prayer' by Bon Jovi. He did an admirable job, much to the delight of mum and dad, and everyone gave him a huge cheer. The equipment there kept petering out - the amp got too hot I think - and after 5 deaths the evening was declared 'over'. Just as well as it was about 1am.
Sunday - pool and no internet and a walk up to the local cafe. I was asking about the internet problem but just got stupid grins at home. Oh well. Carmen was busy getting all her last minute stuff done so no car for me.
Monday was VERY hot so after swimming and lunch, I went to the Post Office to mail something to Kolkata - the Post Office hasn't really changed in 20 years. The parcel sewing men are still outside, sewing and sealing, and the fruit juice man was doing a roaring trade with the foreigners busy mailing their rugs and clothes back home. And the staff still try to look like they are doing 10 things at once when in fact they are really just wasting time! But at least it's cheap. After that I headed to one of the big malls here in Saket - such wonderful material in the clothes but it beats me how anyone wears saris that have so many sequins on them - it must scratch every time you move. The icecream was pretty good though. Still no internet and I couldn't help but notice that there was an Airtel bill on the kitchen counter, with rupees piled on it. It was still there on Tuesday when the internet wasn't working, but finally disappeared at lunchtime. Chances of internet action up 50%. And finally this morning it works.
So today being Wednesday it's karaoke at Harry's again - last one for this trip anyway as I leave next Tuesday for Nepal. Where there are 12 hours of powercuts a day - fun.
Now let me think, what has Robin been doing? Oh yes that's right, trekking! They had a few 10 hour days where they got completely soaked, then one of the horsemen got crook and ended up in hospital, and they got a new set of horses. They had a 2400 metre climb (with accompanying descent) which was $#@*!! tough so I am told. On Monday they were in a place where the first Choegyal (King) of Bhutan came from and were staying with his relatives who could trace their family back I think it was 12 generations. So he got to stay in a room with a big pot bellied stove in it to dry out him and his stuff, and there were kittens prancing around. There always seem to be kittens jumping around. Yesterday when he called me after another epic he was wrapping himself around a bottle of 'HIT' beer from Sikkim. Sounds great doesn't it. He is now in Central Bhutan on the bit that is called the Snowman Trek - very tough week ahead but then it should be plain sailing (or trekking), which is why I can go back to Nepal and won't be required to mount any form of rescue from India apparently.
Robin has had 2 enquiries today about people wanting to walk the Nepal part of the GHT - one would like to do some on mountain bike. I always just say to these people that Robin is in the field and will get back to them in July. Some people seem to have unrealistic expectations - like that they can just put on a pack and wander off without a guide, and that there will always be some local who will put them up and feed them. That is so far from the reality of the situation, but many people seem to be very opposed to using any local staff - and the whole point of the GHT is that it isn't about YOU walking it, it is about THEM getting money and tourists. After all, it ain't the Everest Trek!
So, India has a new World Champ - Vishy Anand, Chess Grandmaster who defended his title overnight in Sofia. Well done him. Much better effort than the Indian T20 cricketers, who are now blaming the constant round of IPL parties for their poor show in the Caribbean.
And on Saturday, Delhi police got in a 'tizzy' when there was a hoax call made that the Chief minister of Delhi's life was in danger. Trying to picture tizzied police.....

Prayer flags at the  temple in Darjeeling

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