Sunday, June 26, 2005

Let (potentially rabid) sleeping dogs lie ...

One of Bangalore's many street dogs, as they are locally known (I made the mistake in an earlier posting of referring to them as "wild"). Many of them look like they are in bad shape -- famished, sick or both -- and they sleep a lot. They are rarely aggressive -- but you don't pet them, either.  Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Multiculti Moment

Tonight, I went to Dahlia, one of the handful of Japanese restaurants in Bangalore.

The restaurant -- an informal and pleasantly shabby spot off Church Street in the center of town -- has a television tuned to a Japanese satellite channel. The staff appeared to be mostly Indian.

As I ate my tonkatsu (a fried pork cutlet stuffed with vegetables), I glanced occasionally at the TV, which displayed a variety of spots, including entertainment and news. (I think it was news. I have some Japanese words but they're pretty limited.)

I look up at one point and notice that they're showing highlights of baseball games. Not surprising. Baseball is big in Japan.

And then it dawns on me -- the ball caps are those of American teams and the games are in the States. The names on the caps include the Mets and the Yankees (I'm a New Yorker). The captions, meanwhile, are all in kanji characters (what else would you expect on Japanese TV?).

So, there I am -- sitting in a Japanese restaurant in Bangalore, India, watching American baseball on Japanese TV.

Confused? Me?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Link-o-rama Breakthrough

After years of trying to puzzle out how to put a links list on a Blogger blog, I've finally taken the time and applied myself and figured it out.

Thanks to a little time spent with Blogger's Help section, I've added a sidebar in the lower righthand corner listing Blogs I Like (See my previous post). I've added Gizmodo, a gadget blog because I just darn like it.

I'm mildly proud of this because it's the sort of thing that Black Belt Web Wizards can crank out in their sleep. But it's fun to sling a little HTML and get a result (Thanks, Blogger Help!).

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Drink up!

The Times of India reported earlier this week that red worms showed up in drinking water in parts of Bangalore (I'm happy to say not MY part).

"The worms are not harmful but cannot be killed by chemical means," the Times story said.

Authorities attacked the problem by cleaning the reservoir involved and releasing fish fingerlings there, according to the paper.

I'm looking very closely at my water glass these days.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Bangalore Walks

Arun Pai, who led us on a great walk through parts of Bangalore recently, has started a Web site,, to promote his walks. It's a work in progress, but the testimonials he's posted will give you an idea of how much fun the walk was.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Spotted on a T-shirt last night ...

Beer is proof God loves us

Thursday, June 16, 2005


If you live in Bangalore long enough, you can't help but notice the traffic jams. And they seem to get worse every day.

Major streets, such as Airport Road -- which I take to work every day and which goes to the airport -- or M.G. (for Mahatma Ghandi) Road are clogged seemingly night and day.

When the gridlock is really bad, the already polluted air gets worse. You find yourself digging into your pocket for a handkerchief to put over your mouth and nose. That makes breathing a little easier.

Bangalore is said to be the fastest-growing city in Asia. It's definitely growing, and the traffic jams are a sign of how prosperity can be a double-edged sword.

Shirley you're joking ...

Last weekend, Jay and I went for a walk. We wound up at The Park hotel, which has a nice poolside bar.

Jay asked me for a Shirley Temple -- a non-alcoholic drink traditionally served to kids in the States.

I asked the bartender for a beer and a Shirley Temple. He gave me a blank look and said something that sounded like, "What temple?"

I think he thought I was asking for directions to a Hindu temple!

Suddenly, visions of temple priests revering a child movie star danced through my fevered brain ...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Still more Indian English (maybe) ...

The Times of India this week ran a front-page headline referring to "U.S. Fundos"

I had to read the story and think about it for a bit before I figured out the headline referred to American fundamentalists.

I'm not sure if this is Indian English or Indian headline English, ala the newspaper Variety's famous "Hix Nix Sticks Pix" headline.

Comments, anyone?

Friday, June 10, 2005

More Indian English ...

Some more Indian English words I've spotted:

-- Updation: update

-- Educationist: educator

-- Rallyist: demonstrator

More as I see them.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Good piece by Thomas Friedman of The NY Times

This piece by Thomas Friedman of The New York Times -- titled "Bangalore: Hot and Hotter" -- appeared in yesterday's op-ed (opinion-editorial section). It's a good read.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Our walking tour group (except me). Arun is third from the left. Posted by Hello

The walk ...

So, as I was saying Diane and I went for a three-hour walk through old, British Bangalore this morning. It was great.

Our guide, Arun Pai, led our group of 12 into old, 19th-century Anglican, Methodist and Cathoic churches built for the British troops based here. We walked up to nearly hidden bungalows tucked away in lots off M.G. Road. These graceful homes and gardens are all that remains of the many bungalows that were leveled to make way for today's modern office buildings (Progress has its cost).

Arun showed us other buildings from the old, British colonial days, such as Mayo Hall -- once one of Bangalore's biggest, grandest buildings, now dwarfed by the skyscraper next to it.

He told us about Bangalore's connections with the finding of a cure for malaria, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist ... and Winston Churchill.

It turns out that Churchill, who was stationed in Bangalore with the 4th Hussars as a young man, lived not far from where we live now.

This is our second Churchill-residential connection. Our first apartment in Brooklyn was on the same block as the one where Churchill's mother, Jenny Jerome, lived as an infant.

The walk ended with a surprise -- which Arun has asked me not to give away.

Arun -- a Bangalorean who has a passion for his home city and its history and has lived in London, New York and Florida -- has just started giving these walking tours. I hope he keeps doing this one and does more of them.


Diane and I went on a wonderful walk through old, British Bangalore early this morning (I'll write more about this very soon).

During the walk, our guide, Arun, passed along a wonderful fact: "Blighty" -- slang for Britain -- is based on a Hindi word, vilayati (try saying "vilayati" aloud a couple of times).

According to Arun, "vilayati" means "white foreigners."

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Not quite ...

While walking down a side street this morning, I spotted a sign on an apartment building (or block of flats, as my British friends would say):

Earl's Court

Earl's Court is a neighborhood in west London (and, my wife reminds me, a Tube stop).

Friday, June 03, 2005

Bats, man

It was twilight when I got out of my car outside my apartment building tonight. I looked up in the sky and saw ...

Bats. Big ones. With a wingspan of about 1 foot.

The last time I saw these bats, they were hanging high up in trees, in a neighborhood far from mine. And they were sleeping.

The good news is that these babies eat insects or fruit.

But they are BIG.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

An English friend asks ...

When is the cricket season in India?

Comments, anyone?