July 2007 in Bangalore through the eyes of an Englishman|
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31/7/2007 - Another Tumble|
Earlier in the month I had a run-in with a pedestrian who was walking on the road in heavy traffic in MG Road, despite the existence of a sidewalk immediately at his side that was recently re-laid and is in good order.
Since there was heavy traffic on my right, I was loth to swerve out wide to avoid him, and since he made no attempt to avoid me I clipped him with my left handlebar while attempting to negotiate the space between him and the traffic. This was enough to bring me off the bicycle, and I fell quite heavily on my right side. Fortunately I was not in front of a BMC bus, but an auto who stopped pretty niftily, and also escaped being hit from behind.
I cursed out the pedestrian for not using the sidewalk, but I don't think he understood me. He shrugged and walked off, still on the road, clutching his ribs on the left side. I muttered something like "shit for brains" under my breath, straightened the bike's front wheel out, and rode to work, where I didn't feel too bad that day. The next morning though I was distinctly stiff, and it was clear that I'd probably cracked at least one rib under my right breast. Also the joints at both ends of both clavicles had taken a fair shock, and were sore.
I put up with this for some time on the grounds that there's nothing they can do about cracked ribs anyway. I developed a big technicolor bruise at the top centre of my chest and eventually Adia dragged me off to see the orthopaedic guy at Cambridge Hospital. He said, "Ah, yes, you've probably cracked a rib or two - take it easy, and brace your ribs with your hands if you cough." I'd kind of figured that out for myself, but he did give me a prescription for some pain killers, and taking one of those at night made it easier to sleep in one of the two positions that were possible.
31/7/2007 - The IVF Saga|
I am unable to achieve agreement as to what may be published under this heading at the present time. No doubt the outcome will become clear in due course. I'll keep what I'd written somewhere safe, and maybe it will make it here in time.
6/7/2007 - A Visitor|
After considerable exertion on her part, Adia's sister (actually half sister - a different father) arrived on Wednesday morning. She had something of an oddyssey to get a passport and then an Indian visitors visa, and then to find her way from Dar-es-Salaam via Addis Ababa and Mumbai to Bangalore with barely a word of English,
She had set out from Bukoba on the western shore of Lake Victoria probably two or three weeks before, abandoning children, husband and shop in response to the challenge of her first trip out of Tanzania. They'll be fine. Africa seems to have lots of networks for dealing with situations of that sort. She travelled by bus through Kampala in Uganda, Nairobi in Kenya, then back into Tanzania through Arusha to Dar-es-Salaam. Surprisingly this is the quickest way to get here other than flying. In Dar she could stay with her brother throughout the tedious process of getting a passport and then going to the Indian Consulate to get a tourist visa. Once she had that in her hand, Adia was able to get her on an Ethiopian Airlines flight via Addis to Mumbai, and from there on Air India to Bangalore.
She arrived unphased - nothing seems to phase Mamazizi. She has a variety of names, and I called her Zawadi throughout our time in Tanzania back at Christmas, which is perfectly fine. But now I've dropped into the African idiom and will address her in future by her title - mother of Azizi - her son, as Adia does. The world is still very sexist in many ways. Since we were in Tanzania she has put on quite a lot of weight, and her mother and Adia are both nagging her about it.
We all came to TGIF tonight, and there we met another East African - also Steve - who's from Kenya, and a Sri Lankan girl he had brought with him, whose name I'm afraid has escaped me. I can't think why, since she was pretty cute and chatted me up mercilessly - I must be losing it. It was a pleasant evening.
Mamazizi is not over impressed with Indian food, even though she loves food to be spicy. She ate chicken wings as Adia does. She brought provisions with her in the event that familiar food might not be available abroad, and when we're at home she fends for herself. She seems to be OK with the beer, though she accuses it of being weak, which is probably fair. All Kingfisher says on the bottle is that it is less than 5% alcohol, which gives the brewers a good deal of latitude.
The monsoon should have been here a month ago, but it's been mostly dry here in Bangalore as opposed to the horrendous flooding they've had in Pakistan and some coastal parts of western India. At this point I haven't got soaked riding my bike home even once. Our rain appears to have gone to South Yorkshire, where there was also severe flooding that killed quite a few people. The river Aire by Rachel's house was not much affected.
Many weeks have passed since I applied for my state pension from the UK back in April, so I phoned them to enquire when I might hear something and was told maybe in another couple of weeks - they have a backlog. Maybe that new Prime Minister got his reputation as a strong manager of the economy by running down the civil service to the point where it can't do its job. So I've still got no idea of how much income I might have when we are in Africa. Looks like Adia will have to get herself a job PDQ. Since she studied law in India though she'll have to do some sort of crash conversion course first, and then her first job has to be an internship. I guess it's all part of life's rich pattern.
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