November 2005 in Bangalore through the eyes of an Englishman

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A constant reminder.

Turkey day disaster.
30/11/2005 - Late November

The day I took the Gyro picture I had a slightly sore throat; probably got it from Asha. Subsequently it developed into a rather debilitating virus infection, though at least I didn't reach the point of coughing up blood. I did take two days off work though, and did absolutely nothing but stuff myself with pills three times a day. Even after that it hung on for some time, and in fact I'm only just about recovered now.

My two days off were Tuesday and Wednesday. I went in Thursday, and Uma reminded me it was Thanksgiving, which I'd completely forgotten. So I phoned Terry, and we arranged to go to a thanksgiving dinner they were putting on at The Only Place. Unfortunately, it was a disaster. The turkey was of the general standard of cheap supermarket cold cuts; sliced thin and hardly hot. The stuffing was whole slices of cut loaf, glued together with some brown substance - I didn't ask - and also barely warmed through. The only slightly redeeming feature was the mashed potatoes, which were I think real and were reasonably hot.

There was a large table next to us populated by Americans, who put an amazingly brave face on the event. We left most of our food, incredibly including Terry's protege Danny, who will normally eat anything, moving or stationary.

Terry has a new job prospect, an Indian guy who's apparently come back here from England to do a start-up. Usually these prospects are really only interested in getting her knickers off, but we'll see.

At work, I'm back on to some interesting development work, though I can hardly believe that it will last; it's too much like fun! I also managed to spend a little time back on my writing project, but I'm not going to say any more than that about it. I'm not particularly superstitious, but I have a nagging feeling that If I do, it won't get written - Funny that.

Feed the children.
19/11/2005 - The Season Turns

It appears that the monsoon has finally retreated. For the last 3 or 4 days the weather has been beautiful - like a good June day in England. I love it.

Last week my foot was still plaguing me. I went to see one of the orthopaedic surgeons at Cambridge Hospital, and he said it was probably gout. He gave me an anti-inflammatory, and told me to get a uric acid test. Naturally, I haven't got round to that yet, since the pills worked and the foot is now more or less back to normal. This week I resumed use of my bicycle to go to work. Having not used it for three weeks, I was expecting it to be a hard drive to work on Monday morning in the generally uphill direction. But it was a breeze - I wasn't even out of breath; I must be fitter than I thought.

I show the gyro because Terry discovered it was there, and this has now become the preferred way of feeding Asha and the other street children. She'd got into the habit of buying them a roast chicken so they got some protein in their diet, but in that case it was far from clear that they were getting what we intended. But if you put a gyro wrap into a hungry kid's hand, it's much likely to get eaten by that kid there and then. Also it's more balanced, with some carbohydrate and vegetables.

Today, India and South Africa are playing a one-day match at Chinnaswamy stadium here. Getting 50,000 people into the place turns the Bangalore traffic into chaos. It took us about half an hour before I was able to bribe some auto driver into taking us to the butcher on Richmond road. When we'd finished there, we were lucky, and got one almost immediately. However, from that point, we were moving toward the eye of the storm, and getting to the Night Watchman to see the game took some time.

The place was pretty full, and full of excitement, so Terry took more notice of it than she usually does of cricket. However, her concentration was interrupted about three quarters of the way through the South African innings, when she popped out and found that Asha, who'd not been well the previous week, was worse, and was coughing up blood. She took her to Cambridge hospital, and phoned me back later to say they were going to keep her in overnight.

We went to see her later during the early stages of the India innings. She was on a drip, and looking pretty limp and sorry for herself. We promised we'd come back in the morning, then watched India wrap up the match at home.

Val and Arthur.
12/11/2005 - Medical Tourism

On Thursday night we met an English couple who'd come to Bangalore to get some cosmetic surgery. Actually they weren't a couple, rather a woman and her husband's friend. Val had got a 'tummy-tuck', and Arthur had a face lift.

It appears that the Manipal Hospital, up Airport Road here, has been advertising in the UK papers. They were able to come over here and get the surgery for about a fifth of the cost it would have been back in the UK. Val was still a little shell-shocked. The innocuous sounding 'tummy-tuck' is actually the cutting of of a big lump of your body. When we met them she was clutching a shopping bag with a scarf draped over it's top to conceal the drainage tubes leading from her belly to a plastic bag in the shopping bag. There's no fathoming the lengths the Brits will go to to get to the pub.

They were pleased with the surgery and the service at the hospital, and it did seem like they were getting good attention. The registrar who'd done Arthur's face lift popped into TGIF to see how they were doing! He seemed like a personable guy. On the other hand, they were less pleased with the hotel accommodation that cane with the packages. We sent them to the hotel that surrounds the Night Watchman. They were full, but sent them to the Curzon on Brigade Road, and after that they were happy.

A plague on your house.
5/11/2005 - Everlasting Monsoon

Or so it seems: it's dumped a tremendous amount of rain this summer, and though it's now November, and it should be over, it's still at it. One of the consequences of this is that our apartment block, along with many others has become infested with mildew. The trigger spot was in Terry's bathroom, where there is obviously some damp penetration that requires attention to the outside of the building. The mildew appeared there first, and has since been joined by some moulds.

The consensus opinion is that there's not much to be done about it until the rain stops. Then it has to be scrubbed off and repainted in the affected areas. Terry has developed a deep hatred of the mildew, because it has grown on some of her clothes and handbags.

As a result, she's abandoned her bathroom and invaded mine, which is now full of make-up, and cotton swabs, and too many towels.
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