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Thursday, 14 April 2011

food and photography

Here I am, preparing my food for a picture. This has became a daily routine :)
I wake up around 6:30-7:00 and go to the gym for at least 30min, afterwards I meet Anka at the terrace to have breakfast together. Every day I take sweet lassi and lots of fresh fruits (like pineapple, papaya, melon, water melon, uhmmm....), and as a regard for the gym one or two pieces of Indian snacks.

Breakfast is the time of the day we enjoyed most. It's difficult to get used to the working hours here. Our driver, Anbu, picks up us around 11am. It takes almost 40min to get to the office, even we are not in the peak hour!! After something more than one hour, it's lunch time!! Around 14, we start with the KT sessions, which keep us busy the whole evening. We leave the office around 20 and by the time we get to the hotel, we have to eat quickly in order to go to bed at a "decent" time.

Be prepared, more posts about food are on the way :)

Anka's first rickshaw

Last Saturday I took Anka for a walk, from our hotel to MG Road. Before coming she said she wouldn't take a rickshaw, but after an exhausting walk and a lot of bags to carry, she was to happy to take one ;) Indeed she enjoyed it a lot.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

to be read when stressed met bakie (sorry for spelling)

I love it, I don’t love it, I love it…the ones who will read this know I’m fickle..yesterday I hated it today I love it, gosh so many mixed feelings, let me regroup and think again…I love it (now at least – it’s all about the moment and maybe a bit about the ½ glass of wine that Sere just poured (I’m not a drinker so it’s working fast) We are both on the bed in my room typing furiously for you to share with us or rather for us to share with you. Last night Bloody awful night, air con on my back, upset by little g formerly known as big g, never to be known as big g again, shut eye for 3h thanks to a valium..admittedly though, a bit of Dutch brown specialty would have sorted me out better in such an emergency but, of course, no chance of that – yes Mario, didn’t bring any of course, I took your advice like any mother should do. Morning Whilst Sere did the healthy stuff – gym, I had a fag or two or more as I can’t really smoke during the day as the smoking area is miles away out the campus and I needed to make sure I’ve plenty nicotine in my body to last for a few hours. Ahh, my Indian fav waiter, Venu, on duty in the morn prepared me fresh coffee (not the one from the can available to the less generous guests) and waited for Sere basking in the sun at the table by the pool – cold in Holland? Jealous yet? Breakfast awesome – melon, papaya, cereal and lassi. Sere energized by the workout in the gym and fueled by a similar breakfast plus some Indian goodies took us on a trek to the supermarket – battling through fumes and dust and passing by sad dogs (which break my heart) trying with each step to avoid Mark having to collect the money from my life insurance. Did not return to the room in a good mood but with plenty fruit and water. Getting ready to go to work This was a hard one today. Working hours here are weird – we start at 12 and finish after 20:00, not ideal for a morning person who functions best at 6AM but I was looking forward to get to the office as everyone there is sooo nice. I’m very impressed with the quality of the team and not biased even though I have every reason to be as they treat me like their mother which in any other circumstances would have upset me, but on this occasion it’s good as they always offer to carry my bags and I’m not ashamed to let them like I am when Mark carries them into the office and I have to quickly get the out of his hands when I spot someone walking up the stairs with us…. In the office. First meet – Sudipto, lovely guy, very clever and spiritual, guy on my wave length, I wish I was as good a person as he is – set the agenda for the day. Next Suvendu also very nice, talking documentation, after Remy also documentation – no comment here as I want to keep this note nice, next, training sess with the whole team – history of xDAP and xCE, CL, what is our business and what is the selling process, COMBIs BOMs and sales with a couple of pineapple slices in between (beautifully cut by Sere this morn) as skipped lunch and through all that, taking great pleasure in seeing the guys not only understanding everything but also enjoying the sweets I brought from Holland and UK. I’m impressed – they know their way not only through BW but also R3. Session very intense but got a lot of satisfaction out of it as, they didn’t seem to be bored and asked the right questions – in short the lights were on and they were there. I was a bit surprised when they told me that they have recorded what I was saying. Luckily I kept it all clean +/- the occasional muffled bugger which I stopped before it got to ger. So no Fs so far. Jana has become a man – quite nice to see how this guy has grown and matured over the past years – a far cry from when Paula used to get so mad at him for not being able to take things in. I’m sure he will have a great future – shame he is leaving After work Stopped and bought more amazing fruits. Home after 45 mins, cig on the balcony then eating with Sere. She had salad and toast and some Indian sweet and I managed to convince her to try baked beans and peeled (of course) tomato on toast which is what I had. Don’t think it was for her Spanish evolved palate so I stopped pushing her to eat more. I enjoyed it. Then we both sat on the bed and started writing about our daily experiences with a glass of wine. I’m now ready to sleep. If you read up to here I wish you sweet dreams of chilled places. Missing you. Arjen, thanks for your lovely sametime today. I want to stay here and I want to be home. Mark Jan, you should have been with us! I so hate you’re leaving

Food: Indian breakfast (I)

We've been just three days in India, but we've tried already a lot of different food. I'll start with breakfast, as I might not have Indian breakfast frequently. It's too spicy and fatty ;) I had it when we arrived as I was really hungry and felling like having dinner rather than breakfast. Every day I take one piece of some of the Indian stuff. Here are some items:

medu vada - also known as wada or vade or vadai, made of from dal, flour of potato. This one had black peppers inside, not really my taste for breakfast.

Aloo paratha - this one is so far my favourite, it's whole wheat bread, stuffed with mashed potatoes and peas, cooked on a grill with butter. Besides that it contains cumin seeds and coriander. I eat it with chutney, very tasty!!!


Tomato & coconut chutney, both are spicy but if you eat them normally with bread. If I have breakfast early, I cannot it them.

Chikoo - or something similar: we asked the hotel employees about its name but they didn't know how to spell it. This morning I saw it in the supermarket but I have forgotten the name, I think it was something like "potato apple". It has a very intense taste: sweet and hot at the same time, with some cinnamon touch in the middle, very unique!!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

First day Bangalore

I love it! I love it! I'm a snob (not embarrassed about it at all) used to the best and not used to roughing it...like clean cities with beautiful architecture, shops that have my name above the door and throw beautiful things at me, and comfortable hotels ahhh and I like to be driven everywhere unless I'm walking through a beautiful city or chilled country side or seaside. I like to be pampered and people to cater to my whims...not to mention good restaurants - never thought Bangalore will meet any of the above but....IT DOES, strip it of the dust and shacks, make the roads easier to cross, put a couple of bins around and of course have Sherezade guide you and it's nothing but incredible. So, hotel is amazing, cool and trendy, European boutique hotels where I usually stay you are put to shame for charging $$$$$$ people working here are most accommodating and friendly well, give a rupee or two. Food is out of this world and plenty of it. Heat is enveloping one in a comforting soft silky wrap. Architecture, whenever there is a building deserving to be deamed as architecture, is nice, interesting, eclectic not much sign of the British other than Marks and Spencer offering cheap and good quality knickers. I was dreaming of having one of their most delicious lusting after cheese cakes but sadly no food hall. So we ate no cakes but, we made up for it with savouries again, lots and lots of. My biggest achievement of the day was keeping (or trying to keep) up with Sere which is a bit like a Lada keeping up with a Zonza R - not that I look like a Lada but make up your own mind when you look at the pics.

Forgot to say, yesterday we had a surprise visitor - very lovely Tenzin came to see us and take us out. Didn't know that chicken chow main ?! was anything else other than chinese for the English delicate unadventurous palate - I was wrong, it is a traditional Tibetan dish, tasty with a dash of chilly - this is what we had for dinner with Tenzin.

Thinking of food, brings me to the shitting forecast- after carrying a suitcase full of diahorea tabs the food is so good and clean the visits to the toilet are most uneventful.

On another note, who needs a Merc as a taxi when they can have a rickshaw. Sere expert haggler made sure we move around town in no time and at virtually no cost (other than a few blisters from walking and bum pain from the rickshaw treating the speed bumps like a smooth baby bottom. All great great fun

Work tomorrow but I'm sure the day will be fun as lots of nice people to meet. Missing my boys and girls both humans and pets. Mario, your whimpy mother is doing great and is having the time of her life. I love you guys and miss you heaps and had you all had been here it would have been perfect. Sharing things with you guys is what I miss most. Now sleep

How to make us happy :)

We have spent the day out, walking and shopping around.

Anka has found her place here. Not only shopping around, but also in the hotel. While sitting in her terrace (I don't have one), the housekeeping personal come to bring/take things like coffee or her laundry, repair the internet, ... Today after we came back she asked to have someone to get us some groceries (it's really hard to find a supermarket around here). Two minutes later she had someone listening carefully to her wishes while she was writing the list. Well we'll see how carefully he listened when he is back with our dinner. At least he was asking about details like "which kind of ...? How much..?" I have to say that all the personal is at your service here and they take care you don't miss anything. During breakfast before you turn to ask for coffee, they're already half way to you with it. At the entrance, the security man opens and closes the door for you. Once he didn't see me coming and when he realized, he even run to open it :)
I'm also happy. I got my train tickets to Hampi for the weekend of eastern. I had to go to the train station and make use of the "foreign quota" though. I tried to buy them in internet, but the web wasn't working and the train is already fully booked. In India there's a lot of discrimination, and even sometimes positive: in the train station there're a lot of normal counters for everyone, and also two or three special counters, one for ladies, one for old people and one for disable and tourists or foreigns. The normal counters are always crowded, while counter for disable and tourist is empty, they sell to normal people when there are no "special" people around. That's why you get other people (normally males) around you, while you’re buying your tickets. By "around you" I mean almost pushing you out of the counter ;)

On the plane

Apart from the great pilot who flew us smoothly I've only got complaints about the flight. But then it wouldn't be me if I didn't! Murphy once again inforced his law. I had a middle seat - Sere on one side (nice and chilled) and on the other...can you guess? a fairly large Indian lady with....what? A 3MONTH OLD BABY. That stressed me immediatelly thinking screams screams screams but no, baby was OK as long as the mother kept tutting and she did tutt and tutt - not sure what would have been worse..2 valiums, 1 nitrazepam and 1 zopiclone later, desperately trying to shut eye all I could hear was her tutting. No new films to watch - seen them all already...OK, so eventually got used to the tutting applying the counting destressing technique but that was short lived as behind me a true brat imagining my seat was a footbal and he kicked and kicked putting Beckam to shame..and I was cold - to top it all spilt coffee on my blanket and when I went to get another one the BA stewardess told me to wash it as she hasn't got another one. True bitch void of politness but that is only another sign of UK going down the toilet. The flight was over and arrived in sunny Bangalore.

First day, first visitor

Just woke up, so it's seems I'm adjusted already (here was 6.30, in CET 03:00 in the morning), and probably Anka as well.

Yesterday we didn't do much. I went around looking for a supermarket, but I didn't find it and end up in a UB city mall. Afterwards we walked to MG Road, which is the shopping street. It wasn't that good. We found there a fancy supermarket, so we got there some groceries. Then we took a rickshaw and Anka really liked it (after the walk, she appreciated even more), now this will be our way of transport. It was just 20 rupees!! (35\ct)

In the evening we got our first visitor, Tenzin. He came unexpected and took us out for a couple of beers and dinner at Brigade Rd. Indeed we aren't far away from here, just 2-3km. This street together with church st seems to be the main one for going out. It looks like Khao San road in Bangkok: a lot of shops, restaurants and young people.

I think today I'll get a continental breakfast. Yesterday we tried the Indian one: dosas, coconut chutney, tomato chutney, chana masala... Then we're going to visit some touristic places.