White Christmas

And now, from the prize clown who brought you the Moroccan epic “Going to the Sahara in the Middle of Summer” comes its sequel: “Visiting the Himalayas in Deepest Winter”. We are in Manali, it’s Boxing Day, and it is *freezing*. The title of this entry is something of a … Continue reading

Viviaaaaaaaan…

If Slartibartfast won an award for the fjords, as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy suggested, then whoever came up with the Himalaya surely deserved an honourable mention. We’re currently in Shimla, once the summer capital of the Raj and now a pleasantly quiet and pretty mountain town nestled happily … Continue reading

The Toorak airforce base

Had a rather bizarre experience this morning – a brief and accidental journey to the inner sanctum of the Indian upper class. Having visited both the Nepalese and British embassies in search of visas – the Nepalese very pleasant and helpful, the Brits predictably quite the opposite – we wandered … Continue reading

The treadmill

After a coupla days in the rather disappointing Jaipur, we find ourselves in Delhi. It’s a strange old place – the backpacker ghetto we’re staying in is reminiscent of the scungier parts of Amsterdam or Kowloon, but the rest of Delhi (or New Delhi, at least) is unlike anywhere else … Continue reading

Wedding season

Another day, another balls-achingly slow computer – a shame, as there’s a lot to write this time. I’ll see how it goes. Still in Jodhpur, which has grown on me a great deal since we arrived. It’s known as the Blue City, which makes perfect sense when you look down … Continue reading

Ods jodhpurs!

This will be a brief entry as the computer on which it is being written is truly dreadful – I suppose this is all you can expect when paying 15 rupees (50c) an hour for internet access. We’ve escaped the tourist treadmill ghetto of Udaipur and headed north-west for Jodhpur, … Continue reading

Dhoom machale!

Apologies to anyone following this (on the assumption that anyone is actually following this, of course) – we’ve been in transit a fair bit over the last couple of days, so chances to sit down and write something have been pretty limited. Writing this in Udaipur, a town that seems … Continue reading

Diu?

Anyone who’s heard my stories of the 24-hour trip from Berlin to London probably doesn’t need to hear any more about my absolute loathing of night buses. But please, indulge me, because last night’s 10-hour nightmare of a trip down here to the pretty little seaside town of Diu takes … Continue reading

Cricket

Having been laid up with a dose of genuine Delhi Belly (well, I suppose it’s strictly Bombay Belly, but let’s not split hairs), I’ve had plenty of time to devote to watching 346546456 channels of cable TV and reading the newspapers. Doing so has been an interesting insight into India, … Continue reading

First birthday

At the risk of jinxing myself, the initial rush of “What the fuuuuuuuuck are we doing here?” seems to have subsided, and the constant barrage of traffic, beggars and hawkers in Colaba is starting to feel, well, normal. It’s interesting how quickly you can adapt to things. Of course, one … Continue reading

Indian hospitality

So last night we had the honour and pleasure of dining with the astoundingly lovely Nasir, a friend of Leila’s mother’s and director of the nascent Shantaram Foundation, a charitable organisation set up by Greg Roberts (of Shantaram fame) with the initial aim of eradicating tuberculosis in Colaba. Nasir, his … Continue reading

So here we are

Typing this in a boxy little internet cafe in Colaba, a funny little tiled room that’s about the size of our wardrobe at Gipps Street and is home to eight computers and a manfully struggling air conditioner. Thus far, Mumbai has been everything we’ve been told it’d be – loud, … Continue reading