Archive for May, 2010

It’s just not done

May 29, 2010

Goan daily newspapers have a hard time filling their pages with news. After all they are only catering for a state the size of Cornwall; you’d hardly expect a daily there. So we often get reports of non-events, unless there’s an unusual twist. Today’s paper reported on road repairs where the contractors had ‘finished’ the job but left aggregate, rubble and rocks in road. The paper said there had been several accidents as a result. This is a commonplace occurrence even on main roads. From our rooftop terrace we can see three piles of contractors rubbish, two of which spill into the road, the other over the unused pavement.

Not really newsworthy until the twist. The news was that a foreigner had been observed clearing the obstruction with a broom. The reporting implied that this was very odd behaviour and was letting the side down. In Goa, if you’re not a labourer you don’t dirty your hands, it’s just not done.

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Spring Roundup

May 23, 2010

Things seem to have gone quiet and there’s not much to talk about. We suppose that after nearly four years in India, the peculiarities and the extremes do not have the same impact. Frustrations with the bureaucratic systems have faded to resignation. For instance, 30 months ago we were informed that before issuing a ‘needful’ registration number from the Reserve Bank of India we were to be fined for late filing and that ‘compounding’ (the calculation for the fine) was underway. Nobody can tell us how long this calculation will take and all we can do is wait! We quote from a recently published book ‘…bureaucratic bungling and plain stupidity still dominate routine procedures’; we’ll add ‘not to mention bribery’.

We write on the day of the Mangalore air crash and still wonder at the media’s use of English. Today we’ve discovered that (internationally) when referring to an air crash, ‘incident’ means nobody’s hurt, ‘accident’ means there are deaths. Either way in India it’s either a ‘mishap’ or ‘incident’ never an accident. ‘Indian’ English does not change as fast as ‘British’ English and some think that eventually the former will be the global language. It will be a little old fashioned but should work well enough.


Dennis discovered a self seeded tomato plant in one of his pots and has nurtured it to fruition. It’s not a variety that are seen in the markets here so we wonder where it came from. They are tasty enough.

Bulbul
The bulbuls are investigating our bedroom as the next nest venue and do fly-bys in through the window and out through the door.

Business is ticking over well. The weather is unpleasantly hot and sticky, but monsoon is forecast for June 5th. We were hoping to travel somewhere cool in May, but that hasn’t happened because of the accident. Our visas have expired (pending an extension request) and we have gained residents permits with temporary extension.