Monday, August 24, 2009

What on Earth?

What on Earth was the Great Creator (or Creators) thinking??

I ask you ....

What earthly purpose do ants serve?  They swarm, they trample, they bite, they itch, they step in all kinds of yuck before walking all over my food and kitchen surfaces - likewise for lizards/geckos.

Cockroaches are even worse - they not only do all of the above, but they look hideous too.  They have far too many legs and bits hanging off their heads, they are  the colour of excrement and they wait until the kitchen has been cleaned (or the bathroom) before they make their grand entrance.  They also won't lie down and die when you spray the living daylights out of them.  They roll over, squirm, wriggle, bicycle their umpteen legs until you empty half a can of spray on one little bugger!  Then they have to decency to drop dead!

Okay and then my personal dis-favourite - Mosquitoes.  Why are they here?  They bite us, irritate us,  make us itch, bleed, put their yucky saliva under our skin, buzz in our ears, and they are the silent marauders.  Just as you slip into the deepest sleep - the little buggers strike!  SWAT Commando teams and Navy Seals have a lot to learn!  They are in, bite, suck and out before you have come up through seven layers of dreams!  I know that I then spend the rest of the night (unless by some stroke of luck I manage to splat the little bugger first attempt) looking out for them, checking on My darling, Nikh and The Ray to make sure they are not attacking them and generally getting more and more irritable and aggravated by the second!  The best ones are when they manage to suck all the blood out of your eyelid - you wake up unable to open your eye and you look like an evil alien just landed from the worst sort of sci-fi flick!  You scare young children, and even fully grown adults can be seen running screaming when they catch sight of you!  Try scratching your eyelid - not easy!!

Okay - you may think I am exaggerating slightly - but at 3am (I know I am usually awake, but last night I was deeply asleep!! - Double Whammy!!) when you can barely focus beyond a squint, the last thing you want to be doing is stalking flying commanado blood suckers who are better at camouflage than most of the world's trained armies!  Thank goodness for teh elctric swat bat - but try killing a mosquito sitting on My Darling's leg, he is snoring and I am armed!!  Not good for a happy marriage!!

I need to know that they serve a purpose, then maybe I won't hate them so much!  I realised why I like being away from Chennai on holiday so much - no mozzies!  No constant scanning from side to side when we are in the car, on the street, in the shops, at the cinema, in a restaurant, by the pool, in the garden ... in fact pretty much everywhere!  Also - no Mozzie spray on our skin - allllllll the time!  I feel a little demented sometimes!

We don't usually have any of these infestations - I think they are here to welcome us back, with a vengeance!  I noticed that all the A/C's in the house have been serviced etc - well, they have not fitted them backinto their holes properly - easy access for the entire zoo listed above!  I am trying to buy duct tape here - if not, I am going to have to get inventive with masking tape!!

Well, rant and rave over - I am off to smoke out the entire house with anti mosquito incense cones - they work a treat. 

Global Adjustments - Global events!

I have been meaning to jot down my thoughts on a few events from the past couple of weeks.  I keep forgetting so now that I have remembered while I am on line, time to get them thoughts in the open!

My Darling and I are often invited to events in Chennai as his company is pretty large and well known around here and I get involved in so many things, it is hard for people to NOT know me!

Many of you know my connection with Global Adjustments, a relocation company started in Chennai about 15 years ago by a brave but smart woman, Ranjini Manian.  I collided with GA on my first morning here nearly 9 years ago.  Ranjini is the sole reason that I am still in Chennai and was not winging my way back to Blightly on the first awailable plane with a seat for Nikh and one for me.  At that point, I would not have minded being strapped to the tail of a plane as long as Nikh was safely inside!  No drama then!

My Darling had scooted off to his new job, bright and early on that fateful morning; leaving Nikh and me to fend for ourselves.  We awoke to find some strange woman (Savitri) buzzing about the kitchen (no food or drink suitable for a 3yrs old and his mother fresh off the plane!) and a man who was sitting in our living room as though he owned the place (company driver!).  Niether spoke recognisable English and sadly, having had 2 weeks notice of our impending move, niether of us spoke an inkling of Tamil!
I have to say here that I speak Gujerati, a smattering of Hindi, a bit of Swahili, French, a bit of Spanish, a tad bit of italian and I can guess words from their latin or Sanskrit roots.  So I thought I was in a good place.  NOT SO!!  No communication possible.

Finally I did what any woman who was on a strange continent on the other side of the planet without even the knowledge of her husband's work phone number, or even how many digits to dial!  I sat down and wept.  Lucky for me, the phone I was looking at with such contempt began to ring.  I picked it up thinking that it could not possibly be for me - I didn't know a soul!  It was Ranjini - my saviour, my hero and my ray of hope in the quamire of my instant depressive hatred for this strange city with an even stranger language!

She asked my name and after hearing the sheer manic panic in my voice sent her driver over to collect Nikh and me.  The best way to put her next actions is SHE TOOK ME IN HAND...good and proper!  she organised a city oreintation (priceless!) and found a school for Nikh.  She asked me what would make living in Chennai for 3 months (yes, folks - I truly came for THREE months!) short of calling my Mum and Dad to get me out of here!  I made a list of questions and she answered every single one of them.  Incredible!

Anyway - back to this post - we have kept up a relationship over the years, partly because I could never thank her enough, but also because I think we like and respect one another.  IF she needs anything - she calls and I answer.  When I need anything, I do the same.

So GA often invites us to events and functions.  Sometimes together, sometimes just me or the kids.  The last few events have been 'together' ones, but My Darling has a mega meeting coming up, so has been working even more than usual (yes, it is possible!!), so I have been flying solo.  One was an event with a carnatic singer, (I can hear you yawning from here, and it is not pleasant!!).  I thought this would be a good one to miss, so I called to make our apologies and started cleaning my make-up off and undressing whilst on the phone.  Dashes, foiled again!  Ranjini must have a second sight where I am concerned as she brushed off my apologies and insisted I attend anyway!  So back on with the slap and the bling and out the door!  I am sooooo glad she forced me (Private Practice was recorded for another evening!) as Aruna Sairam was the most fascinating, humble and gifted artiste I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  The audience was small and appreciative - simply perfect  She made carnatic music (usually sounds like wailing cats on a vibrating plate exercise machine) come alive and have meaning, soul and depth.  I could not be more grateful to GA for letting her open my eyes and spirit to this kind of music.

GA lives up to it's name - the next event was the launch of a coffee table book called 'In Search of P.James'.  From the moment your boots hit the ground in Chennai, you are exposed to the most prolific (free) marketing campaign the World has ever known.  P. James Magic Show is written in balck paint on almost every single piece of wall in Chennai.  it is written over and over and over again.  Four words and a phone number  - that is all, but the number of people who call the number and book the magic show is astounding!!  Anyway - a British guy from Oxford has taken hundreds of photos around Chennai and GA launched their book publishing career with this tome!  I think it will be a super success judging by the photos that had been put up for us to see.  I think every expat will want one to take home and remind them of their time here, and those of us with friends who have left us behind can send copies home for Christmas and birthdays.

Well to recap the rest of the last couple of weeks - we were also invited to the opening of a new bar called 9 Feet High, the re-opening of the bar at the Taj - called Chipstead,  which is really well done.  Compared to how the place used to look this is a million light years away from there!  Good luck to them too! And also to a Chanpagne filled sale of Jimmy Choos.  Great times!!  Keep them rolling on!!