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08/08/2016

When there is no more space there is still space!

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Daily scene on Gurgaon roads

08/01/2016

So?? How is life in Gurgaon?

Well, not so easy easy to adapt to be honest... Be it only because of the climate and the wildlife.

For example from May to June it was hot. So hot even the mosquitoes did not survive here, and it was nice! At nearly fifty degrees, you are at high risk of liquefaction, at least of your brain. Even the pool water becomes too hot. One or two sandstorms to spice up everything and give a little fun to the cleaning lady, as the house is apparently completely permeable to dust. From time to time we can spot a snake looking for water, possibly in the pool, even he is hot the poor thing...

End of June – beginning of July there were ups and downs, and a little rain. Just enough for flies to hatch. Quite a nuisance these flies. Obviously, when it gets hot the AC guy comes by to check that everything works well in the office. And as everything works well, he decides to be a bit zealous and loosen some valves. Following which he creates a water damage and flees the crime scene, letting water flowing from the ceiling cheerfully. How nice was it, all of us sweat profusely in the office during the following week!

And then mid-July it began to rain a little more, almost once a week. Just enough for mosquitoes to resuscitate this time! And at the end of the month, a day or two of heavy rains destroyed a lot of infrastructure – well, they forgot to put a drainage system when they built the city so I don’t get how everybody got so surprised by the flooded roads – and left Gurgaon stranded for almost an entire night (cf below what the poor rich of my society had to go through, tough life!). And gave life back to the... ants! Yes yes! So at the moment there is a waltz of flies, mosquitoes and ants. And the temperatures are quite pleasant (minus the humidity otherwise it would be too much happiness).

Apart from all these summer, climate and entomological considerations, life isn't so bad in our big quite house. What is a little painful is that nothing is at a walkable distance. But hey, we can’t have everything!

Inde,Gurgaon,heat,summer,rains,monsoon,mosquitoes

06/13/2016

The difference between French & Indian photobooths?

Samourai au photomaton.jpgAnswer: the French photobooth does not tell you you look ugly!           
Let me explain... In reality, there are no photobooths in India, or only at the Visa Office of embassies. Therefore, you go to the photographer. Or at least to the shop which prints pictures in which you will find a man and a DSLR camera. The photographer, who can only be called so because of his camera. Because the cover actually makes the book. Some times.   

A few months ago, in Mumbai, I went to a tiny photo lab in a slum-y area. Very professional, the "photographer" was quite annoyed because I was wearing a white t-shirt. It would not work. Even if the sheet used as a background he had chosen was not white but gray (thus contrasting) – I really don’t understand why they do this every time, put a colored background and then photoshop the picture so that the background appears white? That day, as often, I wasn't in the mood to put up with non-senses and above all I didn't have time to go change. Checking out the small room I was in, I spotted a dark blue piece of cloth and grabbed it. And that’s how, under the flabbergasted eyes of the photographer, I wrapped myself in his dusty 'blue-starry-night’ background which really had small stars (Indians are fans of cheesy stuff) and posed!               

Last week I again needed photos. The photographer took 2-3 shots and when he proudly showed me his selection for my approval, I had a reality-check!! Double chin, acne-like red cheeks, messy hair! To be honest, I don’t really care about how I look on identity photos since they are intended for others. I therefore gave my go-ahead for the printing when his colleague came to the rescue. Seeing the selected portrait he sent his buddy away, handed me a handkerchief with a nice compliment “wipe your face, you have oily skin” (Oh hey it’s more than 48 degrees outside and I’m just sweating a bit), made some adjustments and gave me some cute pics. With hardly any photoshopping! Because be aware that in India, they won’t let go with photos where you have a wild strand of hair or a fat pimple. And usually I have both, when not worse! To tell you, once they even insisted to make my favorite Indian look fairer!    

Photoboothing in India is definitely an experience! (Especially since 20 photos will cost you less than 1.5€ :-) ).