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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Burning the ‘old man’ in Bandra + a Canadian connect to ‘Auld Lang Syne’ – Happy New Year!

I wish you all the best for the coming year sharing two traditions:

  • From Bombay, the burning of the ‘old man’
  • And from Scotland via Canada to the US, the popular Auld Lang Syne

Burning the old man

All around Bandra you can see straw stuffed old folks hanging around at street corners. You might just be accosted by youngsters demanding money for the old man. To do what? Well burn him, of course! And the money? Why to have some fun, what else?!

“Aunty! Uncle! Gimoneyferolman!!” (more…)


3rd Quarter Summary

Nine months ago, if I’d got ‘knocked up’, we’d be saying “It’s a girl/boy!”

Instead, I’m delighted to celebrate “It’s a blog!” as “Every Day Adventures in Asia (Mostly)” reaches its 3rd quarter – yipee!

I gotta admit though, this quarter didn’t exactly turn out as planned…

  • Random Jakarta Mall pic (Photo: Carissa Hickling)

    Random Jakarta Mall pic (Photo: Carissa Hickling)

    I expected to be in Jakarta and couldn’t wait to explore more of that amazing city and other parts of Indonesia! While I was busy with the Indonesian project til 2nd week December, most work was done remotely in Mumbai. With a shift in business model and priorities, there won’t be future trips for this client… sigh… however ‘fingers crossed’ more projects will come that involve travel!

  • My partner had a film shoot planned in Budapest in December. Seemed a great excuse to spend some time in Europe – I had dreams of joining for a bit, pop over to Prague to see a dear friend, amble on to Amsterdam for another friend’s new nightclub opening. Alas, the film hit a snag and…. again sigh… no news on if/when either the film shoot will happen or where.
  • With these developments, we decided to stay put, revelling in the delights and distractions Mumbai always has on offer – not such a bad thing. 🙂

As for the blog, this quarter hit some cool milestones: (more…)

Dragon’s Loyalty Award

The Dragon’s Loyalty Award is for the loyal fan/commenter – as the kind soul who nominated me “Nair View” put it:

“Regularly. Stalker-like. The more you stalk, the better your chances are for winning this award.”

How fabulous is anything that celebrates blogging faffery? It may be like “chain-mail,” but at least it doesn’t threaten dire consequences if not followed precisely by a certain time! Instead it is a chance to say “Hey – you’ve been really cool to chat with!” and gives others a nudge to discover more great blogs to read and comment. (more…)

Cragganmore, Talisker, Lagavulin, Springbank 18 year

Part of a series of tasting notes from our private whisky club in Mumbai, India. This session was a special pairing of food and whisky.

Tasting notes from 19 Dec 2013:

For the last tasting of 2013, we celebrated with a special whisky-food pairing. Tasting notes were provided to the chef in advance and he was given full license to indulge his creative culinary talents to craft morsels to be complimented by the selected whiskies.

Our approach was to first sniff, swill and sample the whisky then to sip further with food. The idea was to savour both together and distil the flavours. Only after we ate and drank our fill of each course was the whisky revealed. The key was – could the whisky both stand ‘on its own’ and did it enhance the flavours of the food? (more…)

Merry Christmas Mercedes?!

My partner and I kept it pretty low key in our gift giving and receiving department this year… til his old ‘chuddy buddy’ (literally underwear buddy ie childhood friend) gave him a Mercedes Benz. No – not a model toy, not a key chain, a real live you can drive it Mercedes Benz E220. (more…)

I’m NOT dreaming of a white Christmas

While I miss family and friends back in Canada, I don’t miss freezing my nether regions! I come from a place where winter can mean -40’c without windchill… factor that in and we’re talking -60’c or worse… Brrrr!!!

Yet there is a perverse pride in surviving and thriving in such conditions and I know one of these years I’ll be back and enjoy it with immense gusto! (Confident a couple of planes later I’ll be home with palm trees and sandals). (more…)

Tis the season to get “marry”ed… again

While tis the season to be merry, winter is also marriage or “shadi” season in India! The temperatures cool and ‘phorun’ (foreign) relatives descend. Peacock bright wedding finery is donned, jewellery polished and coloured envelops stuffed with cash plus one rupee for good luck.

Wedding puja (Photo: Carissa Hickling)

Wedding puja (Photo: Carissa Hickling)

In a true sign of the times, the family wedding we attended on the weekend was 2nd time around for two siblings. All four experienced wedding, divorce and were taking a leap of faith to wed again. The brother and sister decided to tie the knot with their respective loves on the same day, keeping the ceremonies short, sweet and restricted to family. (more…)

Urban Village – I’m not kidding!

There is a delightful contradiction seeing “village” life in the middle of a major metropolis. One of the sister’s from ASK Your Sister was transiting from China to Goa via Mumbai and did a double take:

That guy is walking a goat – it really is a goat not a dog!! Do ya think if I moved back to Nova Scotia I could get a pet goat?? (more…)

Give the gift… of your opinion please!

In many countries around the world, cash registers are working overtime and folks are trudging through streets and malls scouring for the perfect gift for that special someone, obligatory family member or “Secret Santa” at work.

Xmas tree 2013 (Photo: Carissa Hickling)

Xmas tree 2013 (Photo: Carissa Hickling)

Now we are all multi-faceted creatures with a variety of interests – our gifts and gift giving reflects this. And this blog is no exception, particularly as it is a purely personal indulgence. However as I was poking around the statistics for the upcoming 3rd quarter summary, I thought comments from family and friends that “Hey I loved that!” or “That’s totally not my thing so I ignore posts about…”

Rather than make a wild guess or totally piss off all ya super cool readers out there, I would love to hear what YOU want more / less of… I’ve broadly divided along the lines of the blog’s categories. (more…)

“Drive here? Are you nuts!” Cars and re-learning to drive in India

I’m often asked about driving in India… and my response for the longest time was “Drive in India? Are you nuts!?”

My 'new' car in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1997

My ‘new’ car in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1997

Like a typical Canadian teenager, I got my driver’s license in high school. However less typically, it was a decade later before I owned a car – a 2nd hand Toyota Corolla which survived more than one blizzard in Winnipeg. I did a great job accumulating Manitoba Driver’s License merit points not because I was a particularly good driver but simply that I drove so rarely it was nearly impossible to be caught speeding or get into an accident! So when I moved back to Delhi in 2003, bought a cheap 2nd hand Maruti 800, I also splurged on a wonderful bonus – HIRED A DRIVER.

A Canadian friend visited us in India and remarked that driving around the world is a bit like a video game – Canada is the super easy, reasonably polite entry-level and India is one of the most challenging. Here you dodge everything from cyclists to beggars, camels to cows (less so now), and during particularly hot summers, high tempers combined with arrogant driving can lead to deadly disasters. (more…)

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