A sometimes amusing thing about having a smattering of more than one language is how what you hear pops something completely different into your head courtesy of another language!
It can result in some rather odd brain combinations…
The 1st time I was asked if I wanted ‘susu’ in my coffee in Indonesia… had a quite gross image of a kid pissing into my sacred morning ritual with a heavily caffeinated brew!
Cus ‘susu‘ in my Hindi-colonised brain now means… well… taking an erm…. leak.
Whereas in Bahasa it means milk!
Last trip to Jakarta during my stay-cation massage, I thought the girl asked if I wanted a palak massage too.
Now palak to me means spinach…. So I instantly had bizarre cartoon images of spinach dancing in my head!
Turns out she was actually saying kepala i.e. head but obvious my ear was wired to food!
I wonder if others have this strange experience of hearing (or mis-hearing) one thing which bears zero relationship to what is ACTUALLY being said?
So we don’t actually know when Zoe’s first birthday really is. The vet’s estimate post rescue was likely October…. sometime…
See our precious little princess was a stray. Initially brought home by one person, then adopted by another before prancing and pouncing into our home as a gangly pre-teen on Boxing Day aka 26 Dec 2015.
We adore her to bits… and there is little doubt when she comes to curl up for a cuddle, Zoe kinda likes us too.
We’ve weened her off her whisky and beer habit. Don’t ask.
We’ve come to accept that paper bags and cardboard boxes will be destroyed.
We even forgave the water mishap that led to the demise of my much beloved Macbook Air. Oh that was an expensive frustrating accident that derailed many things!
In turn, she lives with being picked up and being put in front of her scratching post when attempting to shred the ironing board or chair.
She does her daily duty gently tapping her lazy humans to get up in the morning. No alarms required, no siree! Not on Zoe’s watch!
She puts up with our occasional absences where another human pops over to say hello, dump a little food and leave… or seems to quite like her ‘cat sitter’ companion because she plays with her!
And gives her ‘fan club’ of various delivery men the gift of her haughty door greetings… or occasionally climbing up the door railing to their astonished eyes at her acrobatics (show off!).
Like most felines, she enjoys watching her world from ‘on high’ and decided a basket with spare clean kitchen cloths on top of the fridge would be her throne. She particularly enjoys avidly watching play rehearsals from her perch.
She has no interest in people food, so a crazy thing like a birthday cake is nonsense.
However today we say thanks for our little fur ball. We share a home and daily routines. She’s our little munchkin. We are her pet humans. It works.
Normally when you see a play, there are stern reminders to “Turn your phone off!”
Ignore at your peril. That annoying @$$hole who thinks he’s more important than everyone else not only leaves his phone ringer on… but even answers a call while others shoot visual daggers at the perpetrator.
And photos? Often also a strict ‘no no’ with ushers rushing to admonish stealth photographers from the audience.
However the approach at a recent musical on the life of Gandhi went against such warnings.
Instead their stance was “We welcome your taking pictures… just as a courtesy to the actors and audience, please no flash and keep your phone on silent.”
Transforming the taboo into a viral marketing campaign.
Now, while my photos may be crap, I did indeed snap a few… hence this one makes it into this week’s Sunday Snaps!
What do you think about taking photographs or videos of live performances? Artist infringement or an optimal way to advertise?
Related ‘Sunday Snaps’ posts:
After a bit of a hiatus, time to bring back a quarterly summary of what’s been happening.
In real life, there have been a few fairly momentus changes in the last few months. Most are ones I don’t tend to talk about. Bottom line is I had to leave India to change my visa… thankfully was successful!
There were many hopeful moments of a return to Indonesia or Malaysia or other opportunities that have finally materialized with a project in Jakarta starting later this month!
I also had my first article published on Scroll.in :
While there wasn’t much travel, there were a couple of trips:
- April was back to Delhi to finally finalize my divorce
- June brought a jaunt to London, Toronto and Winnipeg with a new Indian visa quest
- My Winnipeg time included joining a 50th wedding anniversary, friend’s 60th birthday and side-trip to Gimli, Manitoba where we even had a tour of the Crown Royal distillery!
- August had a terrific week-long marriage marathon in Singapore
Top views for the year?
- Obsessions… playing with piano keys about my partner transforming old piano keys into art
- Fringes of fame aka star selfie ‘autograph’ featuring flirting with fame!
- India Memory Project – Partner’s Story… just read it… a very sweet story
- Irrational moments – Innocent question triggering an emotional minefield
- When did it become rude to call? Musings on no longer just picking up the phone to call… with some terrific comments
What’s in store this quarter? Hopefully work, work and more work!
- Fingers crossed nothing derails the newly signed international project in Jakarta!! I can’t wait to get back there…
- Even bigger hope that after massive efforts, can finally start to harvest some crops from all the seeds planted, weeded and watered over the last year for enterprise solution contracts
- There are a few other bits and bobs that may also lead to something interesting…
Just after I booked my flight and stay for Jakarta, my attention turned to what needs to get done around the house before I take off for 3 weeks…
Did a little fridge digging and freezer check, discovering a frozen Atlantic salmon fillet just begging to be consumed with some assorted veggies….
My partner was on tour so it was just me, but one of the things about work travel is you learn to revel in the occasional ‘proper’ solo dinner…
So why not get into practice at home?
There you have it… found myself cooking up a storm to produce a scrumptious yet reasonably healthy Sunday dinner just for me, myself and I!
- Poached salmon with a crazy yum citrus dill reduction sauce
- Steamed cauliflower with a dash of tumeric
- Toasted roasted beans with sesame, sunflower, yellow mustard and cumin seeds
- Carrots with cumin and dill
- Potatoes sautéed with onions a special home-made olive oil my partner picked up in Beirut, cracked black pepper and seasalt
What a pleasure… a good proper home cooked meal, at our own table, with a little music in the background. Yup… think I have my ‘home fix’ and easing beautifully into solo meals!
I’m coming back!!! To say that I missed being in Jakarta is putting it rather mildly…
After a nearly two year hiatus, I finally have another project back in Indonesia. (insert image of mad happy dancing)
Can’t wait to be re-united with the guys and dig into the work!
No wasting time apartment hunting – chose a serviced apartment walking (hopefully not stumbling!) distance from the project office in Kuningan. Almost booked at my last Jakarta ‘stay-cation‘ spot, however bagged a slightly better deal nearby.
I also can’t wait to see a couple crazy friends… earlier trips resulted in an ad voice over (“Can you drop the Indian accent!“), overnight drive just for 1am dinner at a hill station, joined family time in Bandung and a slightly random road trip in Java.
And the food – OMG!! There will be feasting fit into all the focused work…
You must be kidding!? There is yet another religious celebration to be fetted at full volume!
This time it happens to be Ganapathi and the clanking of bells, thrum of drums hasn’t relented for hours. And soon it will be joined by the Bandra Fair celebrations (aka Mount Mary feast) with folks walking down our lane with kazoos at 2am. Seriously… Plus Eid with all the goats that have been trotted around for their walks now trotting to a different destination…
During a different festival, there was a hilarious moment on a Skype call to get the background on a project. My buddy could hear the ever increasing decibel level. And this after all the windows, doors were firmly shut, curtains drawn and extra ‘sound proofing’ added! I was even using my noise cancellation headset so I could hear clearly…
My partner has railed against religions blasting music at ear bleeding levels. More than once he has burst out in exasperation with “Does louder equal a bigger d#@k?”
Let me hasten to add it is not one particular religion – it is a universal phenomenon here. Noise by-laws are quite ineffective as, at best, the 10 pm cut-off is adhered to except, naturally, on certain religious holidays where this can be ignored completely with full permission of the powers that be!?
One of the joys and delights of India is its heterogeneity! The way many faiths and cultural traditions co-exist.
Yet it is remarkable how peaceful bhajans and melodious calls to prayer have somehow been transmogrified into trance?! Accompanied by innumerable firecrackers!?
Yet that my friend is how we ‘do it’ festival-wise here in urban India.
So crank up the volume and get down… cos its festival time and we are about the paaaartay here!
PS Don’t get me started on the pollution aspect either… but do check out what these folks have to say about “God, Faith & Bullshit”