Friday, June 30, 2006

At Least We Have Wine

We’ve now been in Nairobi just under a week… And what a week it has been! I’ve watched about a dozen DVDs (and *all* of the extras included on each disk), read a similar number of books and put a permanent dent in the shape of my butt on the world’s most uncomfortable chair. Yeah, what a thrilling week.

Here’s the problem, were to I admit there were such a thing: we have decent digs here on campus for our first two weeks here but have been granted no TV and Internet access that could be called spotty at best. For some of you highbrow Dedicated Reader types (all three of you), this may not be too big a deal. For the rest of us (those of us brave enough to admit to watching Law and Order, and the OC and getting our headline news from CNN, Pink the New Blog, and Yahoo News), and those of you who know my little, tiny TV addiction, well you can only guess my reaction to our current situation. TV in India may have been in Hindi half the time, and five years old the rest of the time, but at least it was there! *sob*

But, as I mentioned in the kickoff, I’ve been endeavoring to survive my current incarceration with a pouty, if stiff upper lip. The stack of DVDs and books that I bought before leaving the Real World that Hubby deemed as too many and a bit much of an expense have gone far toward keeping me on the happy side of sanity. (Or at least as sane as your favorite Typo can ever get!)

Stuck on Campus as we are has as been a boon as far as cooking goes: although there is a fairly good canteen that feeds us lunch, we’ve only visited once for dinner. Surprised? Hold on to your hats, mes amis, for I don’t even have any take out places programmed into phone yet. That’s right; we’ve been cooking dinner in our microwave-free kitchen almost every night. We even ate dinner at the dining room table a time or two.

I should point out, in the interest of fairness, that the Campus is actually quite pretty and Hubby and I have begun to take walks after lunch each afternoon. (Hey, even convicts get time in the yard for sunshine and exercise!) Although slightly chilly, the walks are pleasant enough. That said I’m looking forward to our furlough into town this weekend. The Company has been crazy enough… I mean, kind enough to loan us a car so we can go grocery shopping and whatnot over the weekend. Other weekend possibilities include pizza, All You Can Eat Meat, polo, and more books.

How thrilling a life we crazy expats lead, huh? Huzah!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Poor TomKat?

I’ve always held that this blog is not the place to blather on about my political or religious opinions. (Just pretend with me for a sec here, Ok? I’m going somewhere with this.)

Far be it from me to say one thing or another about celebr-entainment or religion and the bizarre line the two walk together from to time. That said, I can’t help by say bravo to the Catholic Church today.

"The BBC reported Monday that, while there has been speculation that Kidman got her first marriage annulled so that she and Keith Urban could say their "I do's" in a Catholic chapel, it turns out that, because she and Cruise swapped vows upon the altar that L. Ron Hubbard built, she wasn't legally married in the first place--as far as the Catholic Church is concerned, that is."

Monday, June 26, 2006

I Hate Flying

After three flights, no exit rows, no upgrades and many, many hours later, Hubby and I are now in Nairobi.

Welcome home!

PS Mum, Hubby and I have already had 1.5 home cooked meals and it's only Monday! :D

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Elsewhere at the Legion of Doom...

Our time here in the Real World has, alas, finally expired. Good times were had by all, or at least by Hubby and me! We learned that despite thinking that our Cham-Bana friends had taste, several of them profess to like “Becker,” a sin for which I am still not certain that absolution can be obtained. We also learned that too much of a good thing, like Qdoba for example, can be a bad thing. Ohh my stomach!

On the plus side, those of wonderfully Loyal Readers who are in it for the world travels are about to be happy since our plans will soon take us to our new home in Nairobi, Kenya. That means that I have a whole new country to bitch about… errr… I mean love.

But of course, before we can start our next chapter, we have to finish this one. So, with Justice League DVDs in my suitcase, I leave behind the Superfriends of Illinois to search for new mutant buddies in Africa.

Blog y’all soon!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Care Bear Countdown

I’m not allowed to give away any big secrets but I can at least hint…


PS. (Typo makes an excellent name for a girl or a boy!)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice…

Sorry to have been lax on the writing, mes amis, but the glory and wonders that are the Real World temporarily beguiled me. Fret not; however, because while I am not immune to their pleasures, I am being forced away from them in a few days. Bugger!

Hubby and I spent a delightful weekend North of the Border with my family. The merciless teasing began shortly after landing when my Mum and Dad arrived to pick us up and ended only slightly after takeoff on Sunday. The weekend, as you can imagine with me aboard for the ride, revolved around three things: food, shopping and family.

With stops at Canoe (en famille), Babur (where we, always, ordered our favorite non-Indian dinner at this Indian hot spot on Queen Street West), a bar or two, Swiss Chalet, and the ever-popular Chez Mum and Dad’s we spent four days in culinary heaven. Although the venison at Canoe was lovely, and the blood pudding for brekkie was beyond divine, the perfectly prepared BBQ roast beef dinner on Saturday night was the highlight. Starters, which included a homemade roasted garlic and goat cheese dip, got the evening off to early start. By the time we had inhaled the beef, several Yorkshire puddings (I was worried they might have gone to waste if they weren’t immediately consumed), roast potatoes, cauliflower with homemade cheese sauce, several veggies (I even ate a brussel sprout!), and a lovely sauce that was not to be confused with gravy… Well if you’re stuffed reading that list, imagine how I felt after pushing away from the table only to hear Mum ask who wanted dessert. ACK!

Despite what you may hear from Hubby I kept my shopping down to a dull roar. An outing with Mum only resulted in one or two outfits… and whatnot. *grin* It isn’t my fault that shopping is a genetic gift (or disorder as Hubby puts it). For the most part, Hubby and I participated in our fair share of window-shopping. Although I would like to point out that the lack of credit card use was not my choice!

Naturally, the best part of the trip was seeing the ‘Rents, my brother, BBA, and his family (the Saint, BBA Jr. and Angel). Insults, snappy retorts, and sarcastic witticisms were traded with an ease the belied the miles that normally separated the lot of us. Of course, I could hardly be blamed for defending myself with all the powers in my Annoying Little Sister Arsenal ™.

Sadly, all good things must end, so Hubby and I eventually took our leave of Toronto. Being upgraded to first class didn’t make saying goodbye to the family any easier. Well, maybe a little! :) While there may be good reasons that we all live on different continents, they’re still family and that makes most of them ok in my book.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Nighty Night Typ0

No trip back to Illinois would be complete without a stopover in our former stomping grounds of Cham-bana. It is amazing how things can change so little and yet be completely different at the same time. A quick drive up through the heart of Campus Town boasted a new Chipotle and even a Starbucks. Thankfully, the local flavors of Zorba’s and the Korean BBQ place were still intact in this new version.

After a quick lunch at Qdoba (shredded beef nachos, in case you were curious), we headed up to Mumford Hall and all of Hubby’s old friends and inmates. As he sat down to work in Doc A’s office, I wandered the halls and was pleasantly surprised by how many people remembered me. Many of you were Devoted Readers and to you I tip my hat and give a big ‘ole *cyberhug*.

After a while, Hubby emerged from his high-powered meeting (which was punctuated with several guffaws that could be heard clear down the hall for anyone who hadn’t yet figured out that Hubby was back in town), and he proceeded to gossip with his old classmates. Before long, they had appropriated Cam’s bat and wiffle ball and were out on the lawn attempting to prove to each other that they were still 18. Silly cute boys!

Do I even need to tell you where we ended up next? Yup, down at Guido’s for a series of Tangerine Dream Martinis (for me), and Oberon beer (for the Hubby). Even less surprising than the fact that we ended up in a bar should be Hubby’s order for dinner: a black bean burger with a side of bacon, BBQ sauce and onion rings. Some things never change. (As ‘Sconni Boy jokingly pointed out, Hubby may have a problem killing beef but those bacon producing pigs better watch out!)

The crowd that gathered at our old watering hole was a great one: from the aforementioned ‘Sconni Boy and his soon-to-be Mrs. ‘Sconni Girl, to the inventor of Uzbeki Pizza and his current GF. (He claims that his famous Uzbeki pizza is really just Papa John’s but I don’t believe him!) I will apologize now for not naming everyone there, but I can’t seem to come up with appropriate new names although we did think that maybe Bubba, Not Joseph Smith, and Mr. and Mrs. Mantoon (nee Rantoul) could work for a quick start. (Discuss for 10 points.)

We did learn that when writing the core exam and in doubt of the answer, simply writing, “Please refer to Hubby’s exam” would work for full points. It was suggested that the movie of the year in should have been “Brokeback Mumford,” and that the term “Rantucky” is insulting to people in Kentucky. We also, sadly, learned that I am still embarrassingly jet lagged as I napped through most of our time across the street in Boltini’s. I still maintain that it wasn’t my fault: the couch was just really comfy! Thus I apologize for falling asleep on y’all and promise that next time I’ll do my best to drink NJS under the table.

So ‘till next time mes amis. Until then, keep drinking, only study when you absolutely have to, and, if at all possible, take less than 15 years to graduate so you can come join us in… well… wherever it is we’ll be by then!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Twenty-Four Hours Later

We are now back in the States for a brief sojourn in the Real World before we head back out for Kenya. The 15-hour Delhi to Newark flight wasn't as bad as we had feared. But heck, who am I kidding, all was made better when, shortly after landing in Chicago...


Life is good!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

X-Men: The Last Sequel?

So Hubby and I, and a bunch of friends all went to see the new X-men movie a few weeks ago. I insisted on watching the movie opening weekend since, as rumor has it, I am an obsessed Xfan. We even went early to make sure that we could all get tickets and whatnot. What a let down.

I’m sorry, but Rogue would never, ever, ever have taken the cure. No way! The director claims that he didn’t know what else Rogue could have done in the movie but he is obviously very short sighted as I came up with a great rewrite that includes Rogue in the final battle within moments of the movie ending.

So Rogue thinks about getting the cure and goes to the center; this was a good side plot and did a good job of dramatizing the moral conflict the cure presented to the Mutants. Cut to the battle when Wolverine says he's the only one who can defeat Phoenix: Rogue shows up and says, that she's there to help. She absorbs Logan's healing power and Colossus' powers and then goes to Jean to absorb her powers. Bonus to my version is that Jean doesn’t die and can be in the next movie. I am a genius! (Yes, I know there are a lot of problems with this idea but I’m still bitter over the lack of Rogue in the movie.)

And what was with it suddenly turning from day to night just before the battle on Alcatraz? There were so many plot holes in this movie. Why can’t more directors just call me to fix their movies rather than release poor copies of the greatness that could have been?

Worst of all is that they are saying that this is it: no more X-men movies. *sob* How could they end it like that? They killed off great characters, wrecked the great and classic Dark Phoenix saga, and had Rogue take the cure. (Yeah, I know I already mentioned it but it bore repeating.)

Since I know that Fox wants me to write the sequel to fix the nonsense that was The Last Stand, I have drafted the introductory scenes for your perusal.

As we all know, the cure from X3 doesn't work, and how long it takes to wear off seems to depend upon the person. So here is how we fix things and bring the Marvel-verse back into the movies: Marie, as she is now known, is cured and loving touching things, becomes a doctor who specializes in helping mutants. She and Bobby have since broken up since she's not one of them and he is a poopyhead.

Cut to the hospital where she works and a mutant by the name of Ms. Marvel is brought to see her. Marie is working on helping her and something in the room goes awry and she ends up with her hands on Ms. Marvel trying to protect her and all of a sudden her powers come back, and gains her Ms. Marvel abilities of flying and super strength!

Struggling to deal with all that happened she returns to the X-men and meets Gambit who tells Bobby (in that sexy Cajun accent) he's an idiot for dumping her. Rogue takes back her X-men name and stays at the school to learn her new powers and, ultimately, to fight the Big Bad of X4.

And all that was just the first 20 minutes of the movie. So what do you think: did X3 suck as much as I think? Is my version of the new movie as awesome as my sugar-induced mind would have me believe?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Tick Tock

As I write this my time in Delhi has been reduced to mere hours. Despite the fact that we have known for months that this moment was coming, it has, for me, only just begun to sink in.

I have already closed the door for the final time on my empty apartment. I have hugged friends knowing that beyond email and the pages of this blog I may not ever see them again. I have driven down roads with the knowledge that the next time I do so, it will be as a visitor not as a Delhiite. Delhi will likely never again be home.

And I’m kind of bummed out about that.

Yeah, Delhi had… has a lot of problems, but it was still my home for the last year. It’s like when you insult your brother to a friend and they agree. Well, etiquette demands that you smack your friend around since only you can dis your brother. I rather feel that way about Delhi.

The problems with this place abound and new ones crop up on a weekly basis. (Yes, Hubby would say daily, but I’m in a mood to defend my brother, Delhi.) But no matter what India threw at us; from evil, Satan-esque landlords, to water delivery guys who refused to show up without 7 days notice, we overcame. We conquered the Rubik’s Cube of Delhi. Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t get all six sides, but we at least matched up two or three of them.

When we get on that plane in a few days, I will probably sniff back a tear or two. My friends at the Network and the Organization and elsewhere will likely continue their lives with little or no disruption. (That my dearest Readers and Friends was your cue to point out that you will all be crying yourselves to sleep due to my absence.) But the changes and impressions they made in my life will never be forgotten.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Mummy!!!!

It's All About Food

I have some lists today for you contemplate – I certainly have been. Here’s the thing, you see, we’re leaving Delhi. We may come back but we’ll never again be locals and be privy to all the things that make Delhi unique; we won’t know why the Soup Nazi guy in Khan Market finally goes over the edge (although I have been trying to push him that way the last few weeks), we won’t know when new bars open, or when they go over to the dark side and become hangouts for local kids (RIP Aura). That said, we certainly won’t miss baking in 40C weather and being thankful that it isn’t hotter today, and we won’t miss our evil landlord and his nefarious machinations.

So rather than lists about what we’ll miss in Delhi and what we’re looking forward to Nairobi I’ve decided upon keeping the former for another day and swapping the latter out for something more fun. After all, I’ve spent the sum total of, like, 80 hours in Nairobi so I don’t know what I’ll enjoy there yet. So our list will reflect all the things I’m looking forward to during our ever so brief trip back home in the Real World.

Things to do in the Real World
  • Go to a restaurant and ask for a glass of tap water with ice!
  • Go to an Indian restaurant and call ahead to get a reservation for Hari Sadu.
  • Go Qdoba and order a Pablano Pesto Burrito with a side of chips and queso.
  • Go to Guidos in Urbana and have several Mandarin Martinis and an order of their awesome nachos with chicken. (And hell no I am NOT sharing!)
  • Buy lots of trashy romances including the new ones from Lynn Kurland, Celeste Bradely, and Sherrilyn Kenyon.
  • Buy lots of DVDs to take back with us including Justice League, Xmen Evolution and about 3 dozen others!
  • Have a Big Mac, Whopper, chicken from KFC, ¼ chicken dinner with extra Chalet sauce at Swiss Chalet… Who are we kidding there will be a lot of fast food eating!
  • Eating Zesty Doritos!!
  • Heading back to Qdoba for an order of shredded beef nachos.
  • Eating salad that hasn’t soaked in pool water for a half hour.
  • Cooking without having to soak and rinse everything first.
  • A salad and sandwich at Panera are a must have for lunch one day.
  • Did someone say Tobin’s pizza with BBQ sauce?!
  • Staying with parents and enjoying a home cooked meal. (Bacon, cabbage and parsley sauce, or maybe roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, peas, carrots and cauliflower with cheese sauce!)
Is anyone else noticing that most of this list is made up of food? Dang, no wonder I’m so fat! Hehehe I can’t wait to get home and eat – and if that doesn’t tell you all you need to know about your favorite Delhi (soon to be Nairobi) Typo I don’t know what will!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Weirdness Continues

I’d thought I’d share a few random stories with you before we hit the Delhi road…

Remember that hot water heater that my landlord took five months to fix? You’ll be glad to hear, no doubt, that they eventually fixed it and gave us the glory that is more than two minutes of hot water. Of course, they performed this miracle just in time for heat wave that is summer in Delhi. Allow me to explain – the easiest way to get hot water here is to turn on the COLD tap. Yes, you that correctly: I said cold tap. Basically the sun heats up the water tanks so damn well that we get wickedly hot water courtesy of Mother Nature. Needless to say, Hubby and I turned off the hot water heaters ages ago. Besides which, in this heat, cool showers are best anyways!

Still not sure what I’m talking about? Ok, I have one more example for you loyal but still doubting readers. Have you ever put your hand on the water tank of your toilet? I’m serious here, so bear with me please. The tank should be cold or at least cool to the touch since it fills with regular water. If you don’t believe me, run on into your washroom and check then get back to the blog. *waiting* *waiting* Ok, now you see, if you had touched the tank on one of our toilets you probably would have been shocked as they are quite literally warm, if not, hot to the touch. Dang freakish Delhi heat.

We’re talking about heat that melts once frozen chocolate in a matter of minutes. Heat that makes the brief walk from your front door to the car seem like a mile as the sweat drips down the backs of your legs. Last month, days when the thermometer went over 40C far, far outnumbered those when it was in the seemingly blissful cool of the 30s. Even shopping trips got cancelled in favour of spending time sitting and doing nothing beneath the cooling arms of the fan.

I promise that I’ll blog more in the next few weeks. After all I still have to share with you why our Landlord is evil, how Brett Ratner ruined X-men 3 (and my perfect plan to fix it in X4), all the things we’re looking forward to back the in the Real World, and all the things we’re going to miss about wonderful Delhi. Plus, as a bonus, we have news about more upcoming traveling and World Wandering Blogs! See ya soon!