Monthly Archives: May 2012

GOODBYE INDIA

I am back from India. It was a busy trip and it is good to be home.

Some final images:

(Hopefully those cannisters are full of water)

(Love the classic cabs)

(India Gate- New Delhi)

(Breakfast by the pool in Bangalore)

(Dinner al fresco)

(Tasty-roasted potatoes, chicken curry, fish curry and garlic naan)

(Our transport back to the hotel- Auto, it was thumping-who new these have sub-woofers)

(Austin Powers themed party at the hotel, there was dancing)

I am not sure when I will be back, but I look forward to more adventures!

WINNERS

The Friday before I left for India, Ben invited me to come along to a our first Pub Quiz as a couple. It was for charity and we were joined by some of Ben’s new colleagues from W.H.A.L.E and their partners.

We had such a blast-our team name Quizzee Rascal beat my idea of the Pod Pipers (whales travel in pods and we are in Scotland, since it needed to be explained it was vetoed) the five categories consisted of 10 questions- both Ben and I contributed solidly to our team. Ben more than me, some of the questions were U.K. focused so I was of no help.

Here were the topics:

Round 1- Numbers 

Round 2- Geography

Round 3- Fads 

Round 4- Disney

Round 5- Song Titles and Artists

I am pleased to say Quizzee Rascal won! Our prize- a trophy and 20 pounds of gift vouchers for the Golf Tavern- we had to spend them that night- coffee flavoured patron is quite tasty.

(Blue Moon is now on tap in Scotland- this beer brings me back to fun summer trips to Chicago with Jess)

The horrible rain that had been soaking Ben on his bike all week ended so we were able to stroll home.

(Ben on our walk home- standing a bit taller after our victory)

(The Church of Scotland- eery at night)

(Just kinda neat)

(Waverly Station and the Balmoral Hotel)

Looking forward to our next pub quiz!

FAIR… The Edwise fair in Bangalore, trapped in a hotel ballroom from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., chatting with about 35 students during the fair. Very busy. 

GREETINGS FROM KOLKATA

I am melting in the cultural capital of Bengal. We arrived this afternoon and leave tomorrow on a flight at 6.15 a.m., so needless to say, I have not seen anything expect the hotel, the hotel gym and the British Council-Kolkata where our pre-departure event was held this evening.

The high today was 46 degrees (114 in fahrenheit). Walking out of the airport, I decided to get my arms out to enjoy some vitamin D, when Naomi, my University colleague, reminded me we also in the malaria zone. Cardigan back on. And oops, take that malaria tablet.

Here are some photos of the trip from the airport:

(Colorful buildings in the hazy heat)

(This is a serious attempt at keeping cool- it will not work)

(Warm weather wear)

(Roadside nature, the cows are everywhere, but they get sick because they eat plastic)

(Grateful for the air-conditioned car)

(Bright buses fill the streets)

(My welcome to the Taj Bengal marigold lei- insert Best Exotic Marigold Hotel joke here)

Tomorrow I move onto Bangalore, it should be a bit cooler (90 degrees) and I hope we can get out to see a bit of the city. 

Good night!

Taken with instagram

CHILAQUILES… We whipped up these salsa-simmered tortillas recently. Even with frying our own tortilla chips they were not too labor intensive. Thanks to Lupe Pintos for the tasty chorizo and smoky adobos.

The recipe calls for four cans of chipotle peppers, but after reading the reviews I decided to use three, it was still a touch spicy- a can and a half would probably be plenty. 

To cool the burn, we used plain yogurt instead of sour cream. 

SHOW AND TELL

During our trip to Minneapolis, Leo (my godson- here and here) invited Ben and me to be to join kindergarten class and be his show and tell. A role Ben took very seriously. We planned our short presentation- an introductory book- This is Edinburgh by Miroslav Sasek, followed by a slideshow of our favorite pictures of the city, passing around our passports and finishing with a flourish and snack- Walker’s Shortbread biscuits. 

In dealing with six year olds, two out of four is not bad. Ben’s accent and reading of the book went over a treat. Ben was incredibly cute responding patiently to the comments and questions from the class:

“So far, I have lost six teeth”

“I do Irish dance, I think that is about this”

“My dad’s new wife took me to see fireworks”

“Do you have kids?”

The passports were a huge distraction- too many shiny stickers and we ran out of time for snack. 

Each of the St. Rose of Lima kindergarteners took away a Edinburgh-themed postcard.

Ben received a rave email from parents whose daughter cannot wait to come to Scotland and see the Queen’s house! They called Ben- the fairy god-father- I am not sure I should be telling you this.

IT HAS ARRIVED

My suitcase that is! Yesterday when I returned from my day of meeting students it was in my room. Thank you St. Anthony.

In the future, I might pack a change of clothes in my carry-on, just in case, but then I will need a larger carryon. 

We head to Kolkata tomorrow- fingers crossed the suitcase will make it.

COME ON ST. ANTHONY*

Still no suitcase- jeans and a t-shirt, even if the top is from J.CREW, do not make proper meeting attire when it is 109 degrees and especially when it is the same outfit three days running.

This morning, I received a call at 0100 saying the suitcase would arrive around 0400, when I woke at 0600 thinking I would get up early for a run, it was still missing. I went back to sleep.

I have put out an APB on my black Samsonite.

My colleague, arrived last night on the same flight as my luggage was supposed to, asked at the KLM counter and they had no record of it ever leaving Amsterdam. This could mean that it will not arrive until tonight on the third try…

There is a GAP in India, I think a new outfit is called for, charged to KLM in the 100 euros I have to spend. They say they will reimburse you with receipts- is this true? Have you had this experience before?

I am glad I am not the only one.

*For those of you who did not grow-up in the Gorrilla/Smyth household- St. Anthony is the patron saint of lost things. He is usually very effective and I think he will be again. Come on St. Anthony!

HELLO FROM INDIA

I have a butler! Yes, that is correct- my room is on the Taj Palace’s Club Floor and this comes with Akshay and his team to buttle my every need. This is not a mistake- I asked.

The services I have benefited from so far have been tracking down my missing suitcase, ensuring my one outfit was washed last night and redelivered and bringing me bottled water several times of day. Other benefits of the Club Floor are a special breakfast room, high-tea served every afternoon and cocktails offered every evening. How nice!

(The presentation of my fresh laundry)

Since my suitcase along with 30 other passengers’ are coming in tonight from Amsterdam, my plan to spend the morning by the pool and running was foiled, I enjoyed a lovely facial and a deep tissue massage. The massage was delivered by the strongest and tiniest woman, Agruti. She almost had me in tears. It was a good hurt. I am feeling so relaxed.

(My fresh fruit)

The suitcase will be here tonight or early tomorrow morning, just in time for my meetings.

(Turn down service)

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