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Monday, 22 April 2013

Cock o' the walk

City cockerel on a wall in Mumbai, India
Now I'm perfectly familiar with the concept of a city being a series of interconnected villages.  What I'm less used to is the villagers bringing their animals with them but in Mumbai it's fairly common.  There are a surprising amount of chickens in the city and this fine fellow struts his stuff just a few minutes walk from the Bentley showroom. He's showing some city living damage but is still Cock o' the Walk.

A city of contrasts?  Indeed it is.

Thursday, 18 April 2013


There are some lovely buildings in Mumbai in various states of repair and most of them are very photogenic.  I'd somehow got through nearly two years here without going out with the express intention of photographing buildings.   I'm taking steps to amend that error and in recognition of that, here's a colonnade:

colonial architecture in mumbai, the Salvation Army collonade

I like colonnades, my absolute favourite types are the SE Asian shophouse covered walkways complete with clashing tiles and and goods spillling out onto the streets. That said, there's a lot to be said for a nice British colonial colonnade too and this one with the Salvation Army shields and colours is amongst my favourites in Mumbai

Monday, 15 April 2013


Everywhere you look, there are the pigeons.  Above you, beneath  your feet, perching at eye level, peering in your windows and, on occasions, flying right at your lens

This one was on a direct flight path between the Gateway to India and me.

I rather like the much maligned pigeons despite their droppings, their noise and their clear animosity towards me.  Here is a previous pigeon encounter.

They, like the street dogs, have a well developed survival instinct.  Mumbai wouldn't be quite the same without them.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Mumbai Mobile Creches

I saw this parked up on a street near Colaba Causeway and it puzzled me greatly. 

My first thoughts were "Child Catcher" - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang obviously had a great influence on me.  It turns out that it's part of a rather marvelous organisation  which provides childcare and education to the children of itinerant workers in the construction industry.

I still wouldn't want to be the naughty child in class.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Night View

The moon on the night of Holi 2013, the lights from the hundreds of homes I look out over. Sometimes suburban sprawl is pretty.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

The end of an era?

For the last two years me and the man have been happily trundling down to Goa a few times a year for some fresh air and a recharge. 

We have a favourite beach.  It's not much to speak of really, just under three kilometers of clean sand, a few friendly cows and a few more friendly dogs. 

Accommodation on the beach is mainly huts.  Some are a little swankier than others, I've heard tell that some even have hot water.  There are restaurants dotted along the beach with very decent food and lovely cocktails to be had all for prices that would make a Mumbaiker choke with delighted surprise.

That's it though.  There are no beach hawkers, no fire twirlers, no dance parties and precious few sun loungers. There's a road that runs through the village which is pretty bumpy at one end and might entertain the thrill seekers.

It's one of the most relaxing and friendly places I have every stayed and one of the few I've returned to time and again.

However, I'm writing this with a little sadness.  Tripadvisor have just named it Number 1 Beach in India and Number 2 Beach in Asia.  Bugger! I sense change afoot.

If anyone knows of a similar spot please drop me a line.  I promise I'll keep the location a secret.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Thali ho!

I live out in the sticks and benefit from having a lot of greenery outside the flat so slightly better air quality.  On the other hand we don't have the wide range of entertainment options of the more developed suburbs but it's not all bad.  Our local mall has a Starbucks and Cafe Moshe and a couple of decent eating places too and we have the Westin Hotel within walking distance too.

I'm still not eating after a thali blow out last nigh at Oberoi Mall's Maharaja Bhog.  Six of us stumbled out stuffed full of delicious Gujurat/Rajastan food and wandered in a food induced daze to BBC, a British themed pub.  We could do little more than look at the beers we ordered and take turns in sighing contentedly.
Beware the surreptitious bowl fillers who sneak up on your blind side and replenish everything - often.

Saturday, 6 April 2013


Dear Asia
there seems to be a disconnect with us.  Why don't you like your toast brown?

From Laos to Indonesia, from the Philippines to India I've been served up slightly warm, slightly dried out bread claiming to be toast.  I've had solicitous waiters almost snatch the bread from my plate when I've passed it through the toaster three times to get a tinge of gold on the surfaces and apologise profusely about their toaster malfunctioning.

It's not,  I know, that grilled and toasted things are disliked.  I've been served delicious crunchy, carbonised food all over the place but never, ever a single piece of golden toast.

Dear Asia,
toast is not meant to be this colour.
Thank you for your attention.

Edit: except for Singapore, they know how to toast a slice of bread there.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Sign Language

I love bad brand names, silly notices and puzzling labels and I have another blog, really just for my own amusement, where I usually post stuff like this but in the spirit of sharing have a few labels, names and signs which have caught my eye recently:
For only the most twisted of birthdays.

...this must have been done enough times for the gas company to post a warning on every envelope that goes out.  Clothes lines, I get, swings?!?

This serves as an example of the overly honest signage which is prevalent in India; Standard Silk, OK Air Conditioners, Acceptable Movers and here "most" of your needs.  To be honest, it did serve as it said on the tin.