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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wrapping up 2008

2008 has been a very exciting year for me, when I did a thousand interesting and adventurous things. Okay, not thousand, maybe like ten or twelve. Okay, okay, three or four.

But let's not digress. The point is that I've enough material to create a post about a year-end review, and we really shouldn't let memory come in the way of a memoir.

Here are my highlights of the year:

February
This month makes it to the list primarily on account of my attempted suicide. What I did is in common parlance called skiing. You may believe it is a popular sport, but that's like believing Paris Hilton is a popular singer. It essentially involves forcing oneself into sub-zero temperatures, tying one's feet onto slides, throwing oneself off a cliff, and falling split-legged or dying or both. It's the sort of thing young wives of insured old business tycoons encourage their husbands to experience, which is why the activity has acquired the aura of a macho, expensive, erm, sport.

(More of my trip here)

December
Speaking of interesting ways to end a marriage, in addition to Paris and skiing there's wakeboarding. Yah, it sounds ominously similar to the term waterboarding that Guantanomo made famous, but that's only fair.

'Wake' stands for the wavy, unstable track a boat leaves behind over water as it speeds. 'Boarding' stands for seeing your life flash by.

Of course, this is not something I realised when we reached the sea, because wakeboarding looks rather non-threatening to begin with, and seems nowhere near as scary as, say, Himesh Reshammiya with his new hair. Indeed, I was underwhelmed by the sight of the young and the muscled adrift on waves, casually brushing away their stray flying hair with one hand while steering their path with the other. Not the sort of thing I was prepared for, having just taken an insurance on my husband's life.

Which is why I thought let me give it a try. And try I did. First, tried to stand . Then reduced my efforts and tried not to fall on my face. And finally tried only to convince Vipul he should try it. Failed on all counts.

Anyway, long story short, wakeboarding may look as easy and comfortable as a bird taking to flight; it is about just as appropriate for humans to undertake.

[Yah yah, so I did only two interesting and adventurous things in 2008. Big deal. Tomorrow is another year.]

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

TagTime

I am : not definable by just a single sentence!

I think : therefore I am a woman

I know : the lyrics to an ipod-ful of songs

I want : the voice to be able to sing them outside the bathroom

I have : the ability to not get embarrassed

I wish : I had superpowers, lots of them

I hate : violence

I miss : all the various pet cats I have had

I fear : street dogs and cockroaches

I hear : but I don't listen to any advice whatsoever

I smell : bad breath from a mile away

I crave : haircuts, all the time, but hold myself back

I search : for new hairstylists, all the time, because the last one was either awful or has gone missing

I wonder : if I'm turning into my mom

I regret : a long long list of decisions

I love : romance

I ache : after gym, but this time I will not stop working out, I will not suddenly give up, I will get that toned bod, blah blah ha ha

I was not : born witty, but

I am not : going to give up trying

I cry : in secret.

I believe : if you can't guess I am weeping, you don't deserve to know about it

I dance : Bollywood style, complete with lip synching, jhatkas, matkas and slow motion sequences.

I sing : at volumes lower than the speakers so you won't hear me.

I read : a book if I get hooked at the first page

I don't always : nag my husband

I fight : less than is popularly believed

I write : less than I should

I win : no fans for my shopping style

I lose : no opportunity to bargain

I never : buy without trying

I always : visit as many shops as I can

I confuse : shopkeepers by trying on fifty dresses and then ultimately buying nothing but a pair of shoes at first glance

I listen : with my eyes as much as with my ears

I can usually be found : lost in thought

I am scared : more at night than during the day

I need : quite a few things, but I have them all

I am happy : and that's an understatement

I imagine : that's why I lack ambition !

I tag: anyone who wants to take this on


Oh! and I thank Q for pulling me back from the dead with this tag!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Doing your business - Ladies Special

Much of world literature has focused on males and their internal water resources. Even Shakespeare famously wrote: All the world's a toilet and each man must play his part.

However, as usual, women have been unfairly ignored and discriminated against in this branch of study. I have visited toilets all across the world, and apart from telling you that I wish I hadn't, I can also say with certainty that we women deserve every bit of recognition that we haven't received yet in the area. We are no less disgusting.

Introducing:
The Sprinklers
The most common variety, these are women who are too fastidious to sit on a toilet seat and contaminate their thighs. They probably fear that the previous occupant was someone just like them who sprinkled her remains all over the seat and never cleaned up. So they too sprinkle their remains all over the seat and never clean up. And the cycle continues.

The Hair Shedders
Some narcissists love combing their hair over sinks in public bathrooms. And then, instead of disposing hairballs, they leave behind a jumbled roadmap for display over white ceramic.

You know who you are. If you're shedding, try Saini Herbal Hair Oil and tie up those hair and comb only at home. Or at least, clean up!

The Flushphobic
Flushing mechanisms differ from building to building, year to year, city to city, thus posing newer challenges to women across the world: should I press? Should I pull? Should I just wave my hand in front of that tiny brown screen? Yes, technology unfortunately is expanding its reach to even our most imtimate affairs.

But that doesn't explain why women who can troubleshoot microsoft, download pirated movies, identify spam mail, juggle four remotes - in other words, perform various technological challenges - simply can't figure how to operate a flush! How hard can it be?

The Knockaholics
Forget reading maps, some women can't read even the Occupied sign. They are genetically wired to shove every stall's door till something gives way, and if nothing does, they knock every minute to coerce the occupant to come out.

Perhaps they think that the woman inside needs reassurance that there is someone outside waiting for her? Perhaps they think the door magically shut itself and they need an oral confirmation that it's occupied? Perhaps they think that the woman inside the stall is leisurely reading a newspaper like their husbands at home?

No, they are just bullies.

And I refuse to come out till this post is done.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Indian ethos explained with cows

Thought it was time we had an India edition for the Cow Series. So here goes:

Maharashtra
You have two cows. Raj Thackrey demands they go back to Bihar because they can't speak Marathi.

Gujarat
You have two cows. A mob sets your house on fire because a politician conjectured you run a beef factory.

West Bengal
You have two cows. They produce no milk. You go on strike because the government won't pay for the milk.

Punjab
You have two cows. They emigrate to Canada and send you money every month.

Bihar
You have two cows. But Laloo Yadav has a lathi. So he borrows them for his son's wedding.

Chhattisgarh
You have two cows. The police arrests them because they are suspected Naxalites.

Delhi
You have two cows. God help the driver who runs them over while they graze on the highway.

Goa
You have one cow. But after all that Feni they begin to look like two.

Orissa
You have no cow. Or food. Or water.

Kerela
You have no cow. But you have a Phd in animal husbandry.

Haryana
You have two cows. They are pregnant. You order an ultrasound to make sure this time they deliver bulls.

Tamil Nadu
Your daughter is a fat cow. A director chooses her to be the heroine in his movie. All men in lungis love her. It's a super hit.


...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ugly indeed

99 slaps, promises the tagline. And you will feel the pinch of each.

Of course, if you're going to see a movie with a title as sophisticated as Ugly aur Pagli! you do deserve to be thumped on the head for 2 hours straight. Which is exactly what the movie delivers.

The stars of the movie are two decidedly uncool people. One is an engineering student repeating the same class for the 4th year, aka Kabir. The other is more or less an alcoholic, aka Kuhu. They meet, fall in love (but remain platonic), separate (but their love remains alive), they meet again (corny set-up) and then its happily ever after.

With this storyline for inspiration, I don't know why Ranvir bothers to act with sincerity, but he does. Meanwhile Mallika goes around prancing and slapping like a spoilt bitch, which is totally acceptable because she went through such a huge personal trauma that she drinks as much as Devdas only with less poetic effect.

It is unclear who's playing Ugly and who's Pagli. The movie cover suggests that Ranvir is the unattractive half of the duo. However, given that he falls for a tequila-infused dominatrix who puked in front of him the first time he met her, suggests otherwise. Similarly, Mallika's character may be crazy, but what really catches your attention is her hairstyle consisting of two ponytails, passe bangs and cascading hair all occuring together on her head at the same time, all the time.

On the plus side, the music is dud so you get plenty of opportunity to fast-forward the DVD and finish the ordeal a little sooner.

Friday, August 15, 2008

B +

Being an NRI has its pros and cons. On the plus side, I can drink water straight out of a tap, use air conditioning 24 hours a day, and switch on TV without seeing Amitabh Bachchan in an advertisement. On the dark side, my haircuts cost the same as a fake i-pod.

But that's not the reason why my hair haven't been anywhere near scissors in 6 months. No, it isn't the monetary cost that's keeping me away from the Parlors (as Ekta can vouch) - it is the fear of of ending up looking like Donald Trump.

The last time I had a haircut I took a picture of Rachel from Friends to communicate with the hairdresser. I handed a creaseless print-out carefully to the stylist and spoke in the best Cantonese I knew, namely jabbing my finger at the picture and then my head. In response, he took one long look at me, then a much longer look at Rachel (which he proceeded to pocket in his pants) and confidently whipped out his comb and scissors.

I had a feeling I was in good hands and closed my eyes. Turns out, my sixth sense is nowhere near Bollywood's mothers' standards.

The next time I looked into the mirror I looked like a 60s rock star, which isn't a good thing if you don't have a legion of stoned fans getting drunk to love you. My hair were long from the bottom, short from the top and jagged all over. Which would have been all right had I agreed to color them pink and relocated to the 1960s. But in current circumstances, it was possibly a good move to shave my head altogether. (Which I didn't, no guts.)

It took my 2 long years to grow out of the mess and endless good cooking to make up for the shortcoming to my husband. Now my haircuts - they happen only in India.

Okay, so I should have found something much more meaningfully positive about India for an Independence Day post. But what the heck, Jai Hind!

Monday, August 11, 2008

What were the odds on that?

Today is exactly 9 years since I my husband coupled up, so I thought I'd make this post all about making it together. But something far more surprising has happened.

YES WE WON AN OLYMPIC GOLD!!!!!

So go on, ignore me, congratulate Abhinav Bindra instead on his very own blog here!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A conspiracy theory

If you visit my building's gym around 9 am in the morning and spy a short, sprightly girl in really short shorts, huffing her way on a treadmill or curling up in a rhythmic bout of crunches or generally sweating out rivers in any of the myriad options that machines have on offer while pursing her lips intently as she concentrates on the torture at hand and loses millimeters by the minute even as you stare enviously - rest assured it's not me. Nope, it is certainly one of them Chinese women. Who was tiny, is tiny and will continue to be tiny. And frankly, I could throttle her for posing a contrast to me out there.

You probably know this from school, the Chinese have been most noted by history for their accomplishments in the field of torture, such as the invention of chopsticks for meal times and the use of cheap labour 24/7.

But all that is nothing compared to the headway they've made in genetic engineering. I am convinced that away from the eyes of the world, behind Mao's bloody red curtain, they secretly managed to modify themselves into stomachally-unchallenged, or perpetually thin people. I suppose they initially devised the process to fit in a billion people in their limited country size.

But now this Size Zero, in fact, is their new weapon of mental torture through which they taunt us. Making us feel like a beer mug in a tray of wine glasses. Like a planet among asteroids. Like Queen Latifah among any people.

To make things worse, they pretend this slimness is not a natural wonder. No, they spread rumours about why they look like Posh Spice’s cousins to create false hopes. They suggest they have made some effort to fit into clothes that I would fit into only if you melted me, poured me in, and fed a shark with the remains.

Let’s consider their lies. Myth # 1. The Chinese eat healthy food and are therefore slim. That’s easily debunked. As a Hong Kong resident, I can tell you that their diet mostly consists of animal cooked in huge amounts of animal fat. Accompanied with animal soup. Which they chew down with dollops of starchy rice. In other words, fats and carbs and then some more.

How, I ask, do they defy Atkins' Law?

Myth #2. The Chinese are addicted to green tea which cleanses their system. It balances things out, counteracting the effects of their diet. Nonsense! Note how whenever the Chinese are supposedly imbibing green tea, it is always from a cup with a lid, ostensibly to keep the liquid warm for a long time. If you ask me, they are hiding something. They are drinking something else! Probably animal lard, I'm guessing.

Besides, when I, believing the propaganda, drink vats of tea myself, all I do is continue to look like ME - with water pumped in.

Myth #3. The Chinese walk and exercise to retain their figures.

Well so do I, and where that get me? (Answer: shut up)

I guess you know where this line of argument is going. I am asking you, America, to start a new war - for your dignity. Invade China. And when you find the weapons of mass reconstruction, call me.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cry baby

Sensitive people don't let comedy come in the way of a good, long cry.

This is because there's nothing quite like crying in this world. There is nothing else so suitable to such a wide range of emotions: you have tears of happiness. of joy. of sorrow. of exasperation. of pain. of even plain old drunkenness. Every occasion has its own set of tears to bawl with.

Sensitive people such as I appreciate this sophistication. And when life doesn't present sufficient tragedy for us to weep over, we make do with comedies.

My earliest recollection of crying over a film is My Fair Lady. Right from the word go I felt miserable for Eliza Doolittle and her scum-of-the-earth bad accent, both fighting a losing battle against the dictatorial Professor Higgins, a man who's money and proper R's made him superior to the world at large.

Then there was Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron; need I say more? Naseeruddin Shah and Ravi Baswani were as unprepared for their ordeal as Campa Cola for Coke. Yet they never give up - not just running and hiding but even giving impromptu speeches when the situation demands. Unfortunately, it is all a journey towards giving up. Unlike any other Bollywood movie, the villains here don't die, they don't even feel any remorse nor get any punishment. It was a sad day indeed.

And now there's Wall-E.

The opening scene starts easy enough. A robot is assembling square blocks the size of an ice-box each together. It appears to be a garbage disposal unit; day up, it heads out to the landfills, ingests rubbish, mashes it to pulp and hey presto! - it has a square lego piece to build with. A robot seemingly working in the dumps.

So far so good, the scenario is acceptable to my tear ducts.

Then the director decides to make Wall-E semi-human. I find it, ... no, He, has quirks like mine. He loves the sun. He collects rubbish with the least inkling of interesting-ness in it. He does up his home with that rubblish, and lots of lights to boot. He even has a pet he adores whom he sternly commands to stay put and out of trouble.

And then the art director decides to go grander. And I see Wall-E's handiwork. A building. No, two buildings. No, five... and more.. it's a whole city and rising! Skyscrapers all around, all made of recycled blocks, all Wall-E's work!

There are no other robots, no humans in sight. In fact, there's no living thing save one (the pet) in the world.

Turns out my poor little Wall-E is lonelier than Kim Jong-il at the White House. As an aside, he's as cute as Hugh Grant - and with all the acting skills intact.

Sooooooo... my tap turns on. And things only go downhill from here.

I know, I know, Wall-E's a love story. With a happy ending. And funny situations. I really ought to laugh! But a beaten-up Hugh Grant in love about to die is not a pretty thing to behold.

Anyway, should you meet Wall-E yourself, go to a theatre with a big screen. This one's really larger than life and doesn't deserved to be aquished on a DVD.

And don't bother with taking a handkerchief. Few people are as sensitive as I ;P

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

There are others also like this only...

Being a patriotic Indian, I am pleased to be getting all those forwards discussing about Indian English. It is lovely to be getting welcomed, little by little, into proper usage.

[To you snooty St Stephen pass-outs, for your kind information, already words like ghee, tandoori, pakora, paisa, loot, dacoit and other Indian culture is being exported into Oxford dictionary. Basically, We rOcK mAn!!!]

But I am also being scared ki this inclusion is setting a bad precedent for the rest of the world. The reason is because: Chinese English may also become acceptable one day, no?

Just the other day, I had gone for a picnic to Shek O beach and this is what I found:


I am hoping against hope that "Beware of the stairs!" from the building where I put up, and "No dog fouling" from my road and "Don't Climbing" from the swimming pool we use do not make it to India one day.

Godbless.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Khuda Ke Liye // In the name of God

Khuda Ke Liye comes with the baggage of a thousand good reviews and various critic awards. Naturally, all this fawning makes me suspicious [I mean, Taare Zameen Par was good, but didn't floor me as everyone promised].

So I made no effort to see it till friends sort of bullied me one fine weekend. And as I saw the scenes unfold, my only thought (when I wasn't lost in the movie) was: Unbelievable!

--Can this really be Shoaib Mansoor's first directorial venture?
--Did I really remain glued to the TV for nearly 3 hours and not realize it?
--How on earth did they weave in every debate point, every angle there is on Islam and fundamentalism - and yet avoid turning into a hotch-potch, boring documentary?

Yes, Khuda ke Liye is every bit as beautiful as everyone's swearing it to be. Go see it!

The story revolves around two brothers who start off as a famous music-loving duo. But their paths diverge soon enough - Sarmad (Fawad Khan) turns fundamentalist under the strong influence of Maulana Tahiri (Rasheed Naz). Meanwhile, Mansoor (Shan) enrolls for music training in the United States and falls in love with his classmate, who's white and a US citizen.

Then 9/11 happens and you shudder wondering which of the various victims on-screen has the worst lot. That's all the story I am willing to tell you.

Casting is fabulous. First and foremost, Rasheed Naz mesmerizes in his villain's role - what a voice! His dialogue delivery will convince you about the power of words and the potency of brainwashing.

Both brothers deliver believable, moving performances as do Iman Ali and Austin Sayre, their better halves. No one hams, throws hysterics or overacts - and believe me, there was every opportunity to!

Nasseruddin Shah gives a superb monologue in his guest appearance act.

Shooting aesthetics and production quality are world-class; no wonder audiences across the world are watching.

Music is great / okay depending on what your taste is. The screenplay certainly uses it as an anchor in some parts - and I love the metaphorical scene where musicians from across the world join in on a song. A bit of we-shall-overcome hope variety, but that's fine by me!

Yes, there is some minor (direct) preaching in the movie - but as I agree with most of it (no, not all), that's fine by me too.


Few movies are must-see in my rating chart - this one makes it to the list effortlessly.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Birds and bees

Once upon a time, very, very long ago, I wondered whether puke caused pregnancy. After all, every time in a movie, anytime the heroine (or of course, the hero's sister) ran to the bathroom basin, inevitably she ended up pregnant. Kids came to life always without any sex scenes, sometimes even without a marriage, but always, always with a throw-up scene to back their existence.

Real life, of course, is not Bollywood. Puking may cause people with deprived childhoods to envy your party life, but they are unlikely to consider your belly anything other than a memorial to beer.

No, what does raise knowing eyebrows is teetotaling.

If you had the good taste to once be a drinker, and then the good sense to detoxify, you know what I mean.

"I am off drinks," say I, and immediately there is hmmm in the background. Eyebrows rise, people go on the verge of uttering congratulations, and there is a general shift in gaze away from my face to two feet below. "Really? Why?"glib questioners ask while staring at the bump in my belly (which, to be fair, is the reason I am off alcohol, though not exactly in the way they imagine).

I suppose this inquisition is my cue to blush and stutter and admit that I'm entering the hallowed realms of motherhood. That would be so satisfactory to the thousands who have lectured me - many within 5 minutes of meeting me for the first time - on my biological clock and its ticking and well, the hallowed realms of motherhood.

Whatever happened to short talk about the weather? Can't we just stick to discussing the pollution and American Idol?

update:
Certain people (interestingly, only men), have been taking this post to mean that I am on the verge of delivering a Mini-Me. So to clarify - NO. This post is actually my [possibly incoherent] raving against people who assume that my non-drinking is a sign of inevitable fertility.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Drive me crazy

Apparently, it is time for me to learn driving. My husband has decided I must be empowered, which sweet though it may be, it is certainly not welcome.

I still remember my last brush with driving alongside my father whose idea of education was to shake me awake at six, jam me into the driver's seat, lurch around as I experimented with clutches, and hide his tears as I scratched against trees lining an empty road to save myself from a truck a kilometer away on the horizon. It was exhilarating bravado in the face of peril, it was amazing father-daughter bonding, it was even proof that I was my mother's daughter, but driving it was not.

After an entire summer vacation of trials and errors, we all heaved a sigh of relief when I professed to be a hippy in favour of resource saving and public transport, and gave up the wheel on moral grounds. It is one of those few decisions I do not regret.

[Eventually, my sister broke away from our maternal genetic spell and volunteered to learn driving, following it up with a license and agile dodging across Delhi's roads and potholes. Today, she cruises across the USA and will be happy to break your mythical beliefs about women drivers, or failing that, your nose.]

I have never understood why people love driving. Sure, there's the spiel about independence. And then there's the whole breed of car lovers who feel a stirring when they see a Maserati, smile at the roar of the engine, get a power surge when they touch the wheel and probably engage in unspeakable acts with the shift stick.

But honestly, how can staring down unending black roads and searching for road signs have more to offer than staring at lush greens beyond the window shield? How can it even begin to compare with the freedom of turning your head for outstanding samples of the human species?

Central Delhi's broad roads and drooping trees and jamun sellers dotting the passage of every two minutes... Hong Kong's heaving hills playing peek-a-boo with the sea... New Zealand's sheep that embark on a stampede the moment you enter their radius of sound... I would have seen none of these had I been trying to block the B%^&*&& trying to overtake me.

Driving isn't empowering; it's blinding.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

You know you are past your prime when...

... you remember arguing heatedly when Sushmita beat Aishwarya
... you once had a crush on Salman Khan / Madhuri Dixit
... you know the full form of DHKMN but not IMHO
... you get nostalgic about Usha Uthup
... you recall Jugal Hansraj as a child actor
... you recognize Karishma Kapoor in her original eyebrows, not to mention other facial hair
... you wonder whatever happened to Anuradha Paudwal

and worst of all,
... you know what I mean when I say ILU ILU

Friday, April 18, 2008

Me! Me! Me!

Quicksilver has given me the opportunity to trumpet some more on my favourite topic. So here goes:

A - Available?

for chai, anytime

B-Best friend(s)
it's not diamonds, it's shoes

C-Cake or Pie?
Cake. Chocolate Truffle Cake.

D-Drink of choice:
Fresh juice

E-Essential things used everyday:
mirrors, brains

F-Favourite colour:
Turquoise blue in small doses

G-Gummi bears or worms:
Go ahead and nuke both

H-Hometown:
doesn't actually feel like home anymore

I-Indulgence:
travel without pay

J-January or February:
should be spent in warm islands

K-Kids and names:
have not troubled me yet

L-Life:
is fatal

M-Marriage date:
is ancient history

N-Number of siblings:
one

O-Oranges or apples:
Blackberries

P-Phobias:
Cockroaches, dead or alive

Q-Quote:
"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." Calvin

R-Reason to smile:
facelift for free!

S-Season:
Autumn

T-Tag three people:
Gurdeepak
Ekta
Anand

U-Unknown fact about me:
Having exhausted all my creativity on previous tags, I have no choice but to admit: I love reality shows, and Simon Cowell

V-Vegetable you do not like:
Mr Anuja Byotra

W-Worst habit:
Mr Anuja Byotra

X-x-rays you have had:
When Leonardo Di Caprio saw me. or I saw him. same difference

Y-Your favorite food:
Mr Anuja Byotra?

Z-Zodiac:
Libra

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Koreaaaaahhhh!

I love horror movies - reeking blood, sudden amputations, shrieking women - all so exciting! But nothing satisfying has come out of Hollywood since a long time. So finally, me and my friends went on a skiing trip last month.

All of us being hard-core Indians, and mostly bankers on top of that, admitting ignorance wasn't an option: that there was something we didn't know or couldn't master, even if it were skiing, was impossible. So we bought expensive gear that only pros wear and went up the ski-lift on day two, looking absolutely prepared as went up... and as subtle as Britney Spears as we tumbled down.

"MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" we cried out, in a volume that these capital letters don't do justice to. Maybe some people mistook us for Rolling Stones (the band), maybe some thought this was our orgasmic screech of thrill, but its difficult to recall their reaction coz we were busy watching the tapes of our lives playing in front of our eyes.

I will never forget the experience, nor will my friend who now needs tendon surgery.

Anyway, the important thing is that no one recognized us. After all this is what we looked like:

Friday, February 01, 2008

Meow Cafe

It's a small city. Even so, Hong Kong regularly springs me some new surprise.
My latest discovery: Meow Cafe. A quaint cafe where nine cats have a run of the place while you fawn over them and try to take pictures.

I went there last weekend. It was a horrid day, gray and rainy like the backdrop of a thriller around the time when the heroine gets stalked by a serial killer. We went out anyway, which on hindsight, I cannot imagine why.

So there we were, walking amongst the throngs at Times Square, which for those unfamiliar with Hong Kong, is a rehearsal for the Kumbh Mela. Took us a while to find the place - but were we glad we made the effort:
As soon as we opened the doors we were greeted by a bunch of cats!

Of course that's not true. Cats aren't dogs. They they don't greet humans. Sucking-up sucks!

So more accurately, we were greeted by the sight of a bunch of cats, all sleeping and sprawled over the cashier's table - on the chair, over the printer, besides the credit-card machine, between rack shelves - they'd completely swamped the front desk.


Absolute heaven for people like me who'd love to adopt one, but have a house too small and travel too often to do so.

Food and drinks we tried were so-so, but the setting was a respite from the dry, done-to-death decor of Starbucks. I'm so bloody bored of coffee chains! Same old cappuccino. Same sausage roll. Same awful tea. And worse, same no-place-available-to-sit-and-talk.

Here you should easily find a place to lounge. And should the cats not wish to speak with you (likely of course!), you can while away time over board games.

If you decide to visit:
Address:
3D, Po Ming Building
Foo Ming Street
Causeway Bay
Tel: 2710 9953

Directions:
Reach Time square and ask around for Foo Ming Street

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

When we wake up...

Ever notice how we may or may not remember our dreams, but we can always recall our nightmares?
That when we wake up in a sweat we know exactly what shook us into waking up?

Perhaps we are shaped more by what we what we fear than what we desire.