While it is true I spent much of November and December in Indonesia, I’m home in India now and discovering the new day-to-day reality of life post demonetization.
For those not familiar, on November 8, 2016 the Prime Minister of India with a swipe of his pen made the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes no longer legal tender – effectively taking 86% of the currency out of circulation.
The rules of how to exchange or deposit any cash kept changing and, more challenging, the new Rs 2,000 then also Rs 500 notes were a different size so ATMs didn’t immediately work. Then when re-calibrated, apps popped up informing where you could get cash – finding an ATM (or bank branch) with cash became a more elusive race than catching Pokemon Go!
Just wanted to raise a virtual toast and wish you all a very Happy New Years!!
As I was away in Indonesia for most of December, my Whisky Lady posts were mostly catch-up on earlier tasting experiences…
Once again the Bombay & Malt and Cigar gentlemen managed to accommodate my mad travel schedule and arranged our night to coincide with my limited dates back in Mumbai. The theme was Berrys’ and a blend featuring:
- Berrys’ Speyside 46% – Sour cherries meets bitter sherry… hmm….
- Berrys’ Islay 46% – Peaty sweet cinnamon spice…
- Ghosted Reserve No 2 42.8% – A trio of lost Lowland distillery spirits from Ladyburn, Inverleven and Dumbarton…
It is a time of celebration. It was a year of change. From some nerve wracking months when I didn’t know whether I could remain in India to manic work back in one of my favourite places – Jakarta – 2016 had lows and highs and many moments in between.
Blogging honestly hasn’t been a priority. From September, I was more in Indonesia than India. Even when home, my focus was on the project. However I didn’t just work in Jakarta. I did manage an escape to Bogor to breath in oxygenated air at the Botanical gardens and even attend a Christmas fair in Kemang.
Everyday Asia has been quiet for an understandable reason – I’ve been pre-occupied with a project in Indonesia for a couple of months. When not in Indonesia, I have either been in Singapore or Mumbai or somewhere in between.
There has been lots of activities and not much “down time.”
Even weekends have been packed with things like Whisky Live in Singapore or cramming four social events into a single evening home in Mumbai.
Until the long weekend. In Jakarta.
Naturally I had delusions of being able to go on adventures outside of Jakarta… maybe Yogyakarta and Borobudur or other places…
Naturally I also did not book anything in advance… So by the time I tried to fix on a plan, most places that looked reasonable were full.
Emel seduced the audience with the powerful emotions her voice emitted… punching through with passion, protest, shifting from lilting to wrenchingly raw.
After the show, Emel shared how much she enjoyed their short stay in India. Yet after extensive touring also appreciated a chance to relax in the hotel, swim outdoors…
She shared that they had been to Vancouver and Montreal and enjoyed their Canadian tour. I later met the guitar player who talked about being busy working on their new CD, soon to be independently released – Ensen.
Emil Mathlouthi – Ma Lkit
Want more? Check out:
- Website http://emelmathlouthi.com/home.html
- Facebook https://www.facebook.com/E.Mathlouthi
- Myspace https://myspace.com/amelmathlouthi
I’ll admit I’d never heard of her before the event… and yet for much of December, Christmassy music was replaced by the haunting sounds of Tunisia.
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?