Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Shaving on the Road

As I was driving home yesterday afternoon I noticed that the male driver in the car in front of me was shaving his beard using an electronic razor. His rearview mirror was flipped down vertically so he could do a decent job. He was all into it, even raising his chin up to get his neck. When the traffic light turned green he continued to shave while driving! I kept my distance. And they say women are bad with make-up applying on the road. I just hope he remembered to brush off his shirt before continuing with his day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Driving in India

I've been driving around a lot lately. It feels good to get back behind the wheel since I never dared to do it in India. I still can't believe some of my European friends roamed around on scooters there, no matter if it was in the quieter parts of town. That takes guts!

I'm adding an image of the last car I rode in from Ahmedabad city to Mumbai's international airport. We took the expressway through and through, but not once did the driver think to look back at his blind spot. Some drivers go as far as taping their side mirrors against the window or removing them altogether. Meh, it's just a showpiece right?

And this below shot was taken in Ahmedabad, I thought it was cute. The driver's barefoot and seems to be quite comfortable. I liked the rickshaw drivers in that city. They all had a chip on their shoulders but treated me extra nicely as the NRI. Sometimes I'd think I was blending in with my Gujarati but as soon as they'd read out the cab fare to me, I'd get stuck and ask them to read out the amount in English (I only know my Gujarati numbers up to 15). And the ones that spent the drive wondering get all happy to figure it out with an "I knew it! You're from foreign!"

While I'm at it, here are some other random vehicle shots I took in India:

This one was taken in Bangalore. The bike driver is in a mundu (similar to a dhoti, sarong or lunghi) worn commonly in Southern India. I wasn't quite sure so I decided to zoom in and yep, he too is driving barefoot.

This was in Bangalore as well. I always fretted for the kids (and sometimes infants!), but I guess it helps them grow up fearless in the long run...

Below is a traffic jam our bus was stuck in on a southern India mountain range. I think the whole mess was cleared up within 45 minutes. The guys walking around were drivers voluntarily strategizing with others over what the next move should be. Traffic patrollers, who needs 'em?

And here's a shot from our last stop in Rajasthan. Accidents were waiting to happen everywhere. It was one of the toughest areas to be in as a pedestrian, nobody stops for you. We opted to get into rickshaws just to get us from one side to the other.

I snapped this shot through a car window in Delhi. The motorcycle traffic was insane there. And yet there were numerous cyclists bravely transporting heavy goods without even flinching at the sound of the car honks.

Here's another shot from Rajasthan. It was a common image during our Gujarat to Rajasthan commute. I don't recall seeing any public buses running. So locals hitchhike whenever they can, it beat walking in the dry heat.

We noticed several animal road kills on the same ride. These cows made their presence known, as did camels, and are usually safe. But I saw a lot of injured peacocks, dogs and goats on the sides of the road.

I love this shot. I took in Ahmedabad. If I were to title this it'd be "Me Against the World!"
More to come gradually!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm afraid I may have become an insomniac. The earliest I've crashed all week is 5am! Very unlike me, I love my snooze time.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Re-discovering Bikram yoga, love it! I did better than all my past classes!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I paid $15.50 for an India Vogue issue today. Grrr. I got hooked on the magazine in India, where it'd only cost me Rs 100 (roughly $2). I've got to end the cost comparisons or I'll constantly feel like I'm getting ripped off.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Unemployed

I'm thankful to be getting any type of paid work at this point. A lot of my friends are worried about getting laid off from their companies or are disheartened by seeing their colleagues being let-goed.
A man who looked like he was in his mid-40s just dropped off his CV for HR at the office I work at. He's fluent in English, French and Spanish. He has past reception experience and yet he wasn't even trying to get a reception post, all he's aiming for is an unpaid stage in any given department. Stage work in his 40s? It's a sad picture. He's just asking for some work experience while he's unemployed.
He just emigrated here from the Dominican Republic. The job situation is tough as it is right now, I can't even imagine how much harder it must be for newly arrived immigrants. I can't wait for the economy to pick up. There are too many unemployed out there. But kudos to him for not giving up hope!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The local news has been putting me to sleep. I can't stop comparing it to Indian news! But I'm still grateful to be living in a peaceful country.
During my free time I've been working on all things creative. A friend's letting me use his restaurant wall space to showcase some of the photos I took during my trip. I've selected some pretty good ones, but whether their good enough to make money off of, well that's still to be determined. I didn't have a professional camera, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my digicam shots will still turn out nicely after they're blown up (to a larger size).
I've completed a lot of abstract paintings as well. I'll incorporate them in my Exhibition #2. Again, I'm not sure if I'll make anything off of it, but I'll at least give it a try. The pieces are overly colourful. I can't help it. Even on a low day my work comes out all sunshiney.
I've also found the inspiration I needed to work on my creative writing. I think writing in this blog has helped a great deal with that. I may actually share a few excerpts here eventually. If I'm brave enough!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I am so incredibly happy. It took about two full months but I think I'm now fully readjusted to my Canadian life post India. I'm seeing my city through different, more appreciative eyes. I feel blessed, inspired and excited about new beginnings!