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Music Musings – Emel Mathlouthi

Emel Mathlouthi performed at Mehboob Studios as part of the first Johnnie Walker – The Journey festival – and part of reviving my old Music Musings series!

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

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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.

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“And she’s back!!”

I’ve lightly alluded to a pre-occupation with changing over my visa which has impacted the entire way I’ve approached continuing to keep India my base.

Do you love Mumbai too?

Back to Bombay / Mumbai…

Short answer – I am now the proud holder of an Indian work visa! (and there was much rejoicing!!!)

Even better, I am very fortunate to partner with a company that enabled the best of both worlds – primarily support their growth while not closing the door on relevant consulting assignments in India that can be routed via their firm.

Even more remarkable, the actual submission and obtaining was relatively painless. (more on that later!) (more…)

Heat, dust and… shopping! Jodhpur style

Yes – I opened Door No 1 and jumped on a plane to Jodhpur.

When folks think India, they have images of heat, dust, noise, colourful clothing, the shopping, palaces and forts. Jodhpur has that in spades!

Lucky me – my excuse for going to Jodhpur was to join my partner who is part of a film shooting there.

My first day, another member of the cast wanted to head out shopping. She had already sussed out a place that purports to do mostly bulk export trade with some local retail.

Now… I will admit… I’m not much of a shopper. Get me in and out quickly with whatever is needed and I’m a happy gal. Especially malls – shudder!

However there is something engaging about the more traditional trading banter… it was good fun joking, bargaining, swapping stories with the folks at this place.

Here goes a few photos from our shopping escapades… (more…)

Black vs white… paying respects

Different colours have different cultural connotations.

Take red….

  • In China, red is a colour for celebration and good luck
  • In India, brides are resplendent bright red – a colour symbolic with purity
  • By contrast, red is the colour of passion in Western eyes – quite the opposite of chasteness!

In most Canadian homes, black is the colour for funerals whereas white is for weddings. (more…)

A sick chick’s top 5 global cold weapons!

At the moment, I am feeling so miserable… all the posts I planned to write… let’s just say I can’t bring myself to finish any of them. And work stuff? Gaakh!

Why?

I have one of those yucky seasonal monsoon colds. You know the kind. Where you can’t go even a minute without blowing your nose, sneeze uncontrollably, ache all over and generally feel like you were hit by a truck?

And I’m running terribly short of a secret weapon from Indonesia – tolak angin.

Which got me thinking about how there is such an amazing range of ‘local remedies’ around the world to help ease your suffering when sick. (more…)

The many faces of home

For those tuning in only now, I recently revamped how Everyday Asia is organised.

It is now ‘Home‘, ‘Away‘, ‘Work‘ and ‘Play… with a few other menu items like About, Quarterly Review and Start here..

You would think ‘Home‘ would be the easiest to do. Just slap on a new label to ‘Everyday India‘… except it raises a rather interesting question.. what and where is ‘home’… and why? (more…)

Travel tales… How I got ‘hooked’ on going ‘away’

We’ve introduced ‘Work‘, messed around with ‘Play‘, clearly ‘Travel’ can simply be replaced with ‘Away‘!

So why bother with a post? Well… you see… it seems a good point to pause and share the journey… insight into ‘travel tales’  which help explain how I got from there (Winnipeg) to here (Mumbai).

And warning! This is a long post, so go grab a cup of chai, coffee or other liquid libation and come join me in a trip down memory lane… (more…)

Eid Mubarak!!!

For all my friends around the world who finally broke their fast – Eid Mubarak!!

There is no mistaking the joyous celebration that comes with Eid.

INDONESIA

A couple of years ago I was in Indonesia during Lebaran (Ramadan). I will never forget meeting a friend at a mall, lining up for food with the throngs. All places to sit were full, plates heaping with delicious smelling feasts.. with everyone waiting.. waiting… waiting for the ‘gong’ to signal the sun had set and it was time to break the daily fast.

During that period, I stayed in a penthouse apartment in the central part of Jakarta. I had the most amazing view of the non-stop fireworks that started in the build-up to Eid then an ear splitting crescendo that kept roaring back over and over in jubilant bursts all night.

INDIA

Back in Bandra, Mumbai, we live next door to a mosque. The call to prayers weaves its way into the daily fabric of our lives. So it was no surprise when the spattering of fireworks signalled it was finally time…

Even better. a friend from Karachi / London invited us to his mother’s home in Mumbai for the feast! It was a carnivores carnival of delight…

So to all my Muslim friends here (India), there (Indonesia) and all around the world – Eid Mubarak!!!

Celebration time!

Celebration time! (Islamicartdb.com)

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Everyday Asia – Time to change!

More than two years ago I started the blog ‘Everyday Adventures in Asia (mostly)‘ with the thought to share :

  • Insights into everyday life adventures in my adopted ‘home’ India and working ‘homes’ all around Asia
  • Tales of past travel adventures with a focus on Asia
  • General adventures with topics of interest from the perspective of a Canadian woman living long-term in Asia

I had no feel for what blogging meant, just had a bit of time on my hands, enjoyed reading a few friend’s blogs and thought – why not? (more…)

“We don’t want your money!” Indian mutual fund cos deny Canadians because of the Americans

After the agonising effort to get my address dutifully updated with various mutual fund countries in India, I was slapped with a rude rebuff.

I can no longer invest in India.

It used to be that someone in my circumstances living long-term in India could invest in mutual funds. Which makes sense given this is my country of residence, where I’ve earned most of my money in the last 12 years, where all my global income is taxable.

It would be logical, therefore, that what little savings I have should be invested here. Right?

Wrong. refuse_1 I won’t go into all the details, but it has something to do with FATCA – Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Which on the face of it is for Americans. To make sure that Americans or those with direct interests in the US are properly paying their American taxes.

But wait – I’m Canadian. I’ve never worked in the US. I’ve never held property in the US. Frankly other than a few short visits, rarely am ever IN the US. And Canada even has an intergovernmental agreement with the US to fairly cover off these matters.

What does that have to do with India?

Well… heck if I know but apparently it does.

As I understand it, most Indian Mutual Fund companies didn’t register with the IRS by the Jan 2015 deadline. Which means they’ve simply decided to avoid any new investments from not only US citizens but Canadian as well!

Last time I checked, Canada was not the 51st American state. Except, apparently, according to the Indian mutual fund industry… I want you to pay your taxes I accidentally discovered this when I went to make an on-line switch. It was declined.

Further investigation revealed I’ve fallen down some bizarre global tax rabbit-hole. I made several efforts to find a solution, explaining to no avail repeatedly that I’m not actually American, have zero interests in the US, that my tax jurisdiction is India… nix! None will touch my money as they don’t want to get into trouble with the Americans.

Naturally, there were – ahem – creative suggestions on how to get around this. I won’t name names… but let’s just say I was encouraged to lie about my nationality to get around the restriction. Sorry, but I’m not about to do that.

So… anyone want my money??

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