We have a Chinese water torture device in our bedroom

It’s actually a lot less dramatic than it sounds but it got you reading didn’t it?

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If this doesn’t stop, grown men might cry.

We have a leak in our roof but it only bothers me when it’s raining.  And it hasn’t rained for ages down here.  After many prayers by a million+ people the heavens opened.  Every night this week.  I’m not complaining, it’s a blessing for everyone. Farmers, flowers, water reservoirs, amphibians, grass, fishermen, mosquitoes; everyone except those of us who have a leak in their roof they didn’t know about before.

It’s highly annoying, the sound of dripping water. Continue reading

Chicken or Owl? Take the test!

owl vs chicken

It always takes two.

Basic human behaviour boils down to being one of the two.  Every person is either an Owl or a Chicken.  And this basic classification stems from human sleeping patterns.

Chickens base their sleeping hours on the sun.  When the sun comes up, so do they.  Simple.  It’s those crazy people who wake up before the crack of dawn just to see the sun rise.  They go on about the crisp fresh air, sitting on a porch with a mug of hot steaming coffee.  These freaks also rarely require an alarm, and probably consider the bone-crushing noise of a Rooster to be comparable with the soaring cry of a Fish Eagle.

They are all chirpy and funny and annoying in the morning.  Smiling their way through showering, breakfast and all the other crap humans have to do before starting their day.  They are the ones who greet you at work with so much enthusiasm that a bystander might think it’s a long-lost friend whom you haven’t seen in 40 years.  Or a survivor returning from a 111 year stint on an island in the South Pacific, removed from any human contact.  (And you desperately want to smash him in the face, whilst switching on your laptop saying “Ah, piss off”.  But you can’t because he is just being friendly and assault is still frowned upon in the work place.)

So the chickens laugh and smile through the day, their energy levels slowly but surely diminishing as the sun sets its course through the sky, westwards.  And when the sun dips out of the horizon their solar-powered personalities disappears with it.  Then the agony of whimpering about being tired and going to bed commence.  They barely make it through dinner and falls asleep noisily in front of the TV, dubbing every joke of the Big Bang Theory.

And God forbid you want to go out.  It’s all about being cold and tired and can’t we do it tomorrow.

Owls in comparison appear on the other end of the scale as they would stay in bed all day if not for the tempting aroma’s of bacon and coffee.  They will slouch at the table with a barely audible hello.  Never good morning, because there is NOTHING good about getting out of bed for an owl.  To say that owls are not morning people would be a slight understatement.  I might as well say that Hitler didn’t hate Jews, he just didn’t understand them.  Most of the owls I know might have their eyes open, but only because it’s anatomically impossible not too.  They only wake up at around ten.  Some actually never do.  For most of them the time spend with opened eyes is directly proportional to the speed at which they turn from being a total Shmuck to being a Miss Congeniality contender.

Their eagerness to interact with other people increase exponentially during the day.  But the volcano erupts when the sun goes down.  Some owls literally vibrate, like kids attending a birthday party sponsored by Nestle or Coca Cola.  There. Is. Just. Nothing. Stopping. Them.  In the worst cases their excitement will be exhausting to anyone within a 100 m proximity.  Vampires embracing the dark, wanting to suck the blood out of every minute of the night, doing random things like playing Sims, blogging, watching movies and if they’re really lucky do the dirty.  Until they fall dead in bed.

To only wake up again with the agony of the sun peaking through the blinds and that fucking rooster killing all hopes that another day hasn’t really arrived already.

So it becomes clear that the only time owls and chickens will mingle in a manner that would seem humane and decent would be late morning to early evening.  This is when both types are at their best behaviour.  A four to six-hour window of humanity interacting with respect.  But also a time when all hell break loose.

In this time the aviary is a place where owls and chickens forget their obvious differences, and they stand the risk of falling in love and even (gasp) marry.  To make matters worse they sprout some twisted offspring; an owl/chicken hybrid.  These little freaks confuses everyone as the paradigm and laws of nature doesn’t apply to them.  But if you love, feed and manage to raise them, at some point they will drop the façade and reveal who they really are.  A chicken or an owl.

And if you’re lucky you’ll get one of each.  (I’m an owl and I love my chicken, by the way. ;-))

Trains, bedbugs, rubbish and appreciation.

I am a Monty Python kind of guy.  You know, “Always look on the bright side of life”.  So that is why I was so thrilled being in a transit lounge in an International Airport. The alternative? I could still be in India, or more specifically Kolkata, where I just came from.

If you love India, or feel some strong patriotic ties towards the country, please do not read this. India is known as the country of choice when a person wants to find some spiritual enlightenment, a deeper meaning of life and more of that mystical blah blah blah.  (Julia even made me sit through a movie about it for almost two hours!! See how much I love my wife.) The only enlightenment I got from my visit, was my own realisation to be extremely grateful for whatever bitch slap life gives me. ANYTHING is better than living in India.  It doesn’t matter how much of an asswipe your boss is, or how excruciatingly annoying your neighbour might be, when you return from India you WILL be grateful. Be prepared to want to hug both people in question. India doesn’t really change you spiritually, it only changes your perception on life.

Please, before judging me, let me run through some of the highlights excperienced during my visit to India to shed some light on my state of mind.

I spend four hours on a train from Kolkata to Jamshedpur, and back again.  Train travel takes on a whole different meaning in India. Arriving at the station, the gang of Noise, Odour and WTF wait patiently to ambush your senses. There are so many people you might feel disorientated. Then there is the kingpin, Mr Odour. OH MY GOD!! It is a mixture of garlic, urine, rotting food, curry, spices and sweat.  Or what I am sure zombies would smell like.  And it oozes out everywhere and hangs like stubborn fog, grabbing on to your nostrils with sharp claws and worming itself down your throat. It will test your gag reflex.

Travelling first class on the train only means you don’t have to share the cabin with anyone else, that’s it. The unwashed linen and curtains of the cabin will make you sneeze unvoluntary until the equilibrium of dust is equal between that of the cabin and that in your lungs.

Passsing by the countryside, there is no picturesque moment of bliss. I have seen movies on India, showing mountains and lakes, but that is bullshit. Why? Because all the rubbish consumed on earth ends up scattered in India.  It is everwyhere, and most propably due to the abscence of dustbins. There is not even a hint of waste management, and it decorates the streets, railway lines, public places, grass lands, forests.  Just papers, cans, plastic as far as the eye can see. And just to twist the knife of disgust, stuck in your belly, you can watch a rat or a pig or a cow sniffing through the debry to find something worth eating. This would be Al Gore’s worst nightmare.

The secret in preventing sickness in India, is obvisouly not to get bitten by anything. Work for me… The other preventative measure is to stitch your mouth closed before taking a shower. One should ensure that no water enter your system. Not even one droplet. The concentration of Delhi-belly is so high in the water, that brushing your teeth with anything other than bottled water, will put you on the toilet seat in nine minutes flat for the duration of your trip. Expect intervals of 2 hours, with half and hour recovery periods.

The food is hot. Not “Wow that’s a charming curry-hot”, it is, “Are you friggin kidding me-hot!” The food is so spicy that once a spoonful is in your mouth, your asshole will contract immediately, instinctively trying to protect itself for what’s coming in a few hours. The spices WILL attack your stomach lining, and in defense, that organ will discharge all the acid it can to esnure digestion takes place whilst the food is still travelling down your throat, or more commonly known as heartburn. Just to be clear, one has never had heartburn until you had it after an Indian dish. I would place this challenge in the same category as bungee jumping or going for a prostate exam. Something as simple as scramble eggs turns into demon food.

Then the traffic. It consist of new cars, old cars, tuc-tucs, trucks, bikes, motorbikes, donkey carts and basically anything else with wheels; known to man. We were covering 3 km in three hours, which I was told was pretty good. I was thinking: “Compared to what? Standing still?” I knew my standards were too high, but when we finally reached the source of the traffic congestion I lost a part of my mind. I didn’t say anything but develop a twitch, which I hope with therapy will go away. It was a flippen cow, standing like an overconfident Idol winner two lanes wide on one of the bussiest highways in the city. For the record, I know why they don’t want to move the cow, it resembles some kind of deity they worship. Has to be some spiteful version of Loki.

Spending the last night at a five-star hotel, yes I travel in style, we sat outside talking on the veranda. My one arm was resting on the upholstery of the coach. I started to itch, only to discover much later that the bottom half of my arm was being chewed off by a rogue gang of bedbugs or fleas, or some unknown parasite. I was fortunate to save my arm, have it not been for some cream a lady had with her. The worst part for me is I still had to sleep in the same hotel. I decided against posting the photo because this website is not called Bloody disgusting, and when my kids read this I wouldn’t want to scar them for life. I will report back when I start growing a third nipple, thus proving the bites were NOT harmless. So far nothing.

So there it is, some of the reasons why I just can’t wait to return to this unique country. There is definite logic in the marketing campaigns of the tourism board of India, branding it as a country where one can experience extraordinary sights and sounds. It is a country that will stimulate your senses, widen your thinking, expose you to new worlds, but let me warn you, that is not necessarily a good thing!

So if you think you have a less than favourable life, appreciation of your current existence is just one airplane ticket away.