Saturday, March 31, 2007

I'm a foster dad

To a red ear slider turtle named Bud :-) I used to have another one years ago named Tequila, which my friend Stacey had given me when we both worked at the FL Department of Health.

But, Bud comes to me via Ankur and will go back to him when my time in India is up. Isn't he the cutest!?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Shakira's Oral Fixation

Last Sunday, Shakira came to Mumbai to perform for the first time as part of her world tour Fijación Oral. The concert TOTALLY rocked...once it freaking got started!

The tickets said that the doors opened at 5:30, so we get there at 5:20. and there is a freaking ginormous queue! I was like "what the!?". But the funky part was that the "arena" where the concert is being held, its actually an empty field with freaking zinc paneling cordoning off the area. I was like, "you have got to be freaking kidding me!?". It was SO ghetto.

Around 6 o'clock, they move a piece of paneling and start letting people in. Yey! And we enter this empty area divided in two, the back half apparently being for the cheap tickets (not so cheap at Rs. 2650/USD 60.87/GBP 31.07/CAD 70.23). So yes, being in the front half (at Rs. 3650/USD 83.85/GBP 42.79/CAD 96.73 put you closer to the stage. But it also put you closer to crazy, shrieking, totally out of place fanatics.

Honestly there were people there, that not only did NOT look like Cha-KEE-raw (as they were mutilating her name) fans, but did not seem like concert goers period. PLUS, you had to stand. The whole time. For hours. In the heat. Without water. Cuz if you went to get water you would loose your spot and would NEVER get allowed back into it.

So we stood. And we waited. For 2 freaking hours! She didn't start till 8 o'clock!! Which yes to me is a normal time for a concert, but not when you are standing for hours, practically moshing with people with varying degrees of hygiene, odors, and concepts of personal space. I was not a happy camper.

But then FINALLY, Shakira/Cha-KEE-raw, came on. And she was awesome. She sang, she danced, she glowed. Shakira is gorgeous and talented, period!

She actually did way more Spanish-language songs than I expected and she would totally loose the crowd when she did :-P There actually were a handful of spics there with me also, so at least I wasn't alone singing in Spanish. And she did some of her old stuff too, like from "Donde Estan Los Ladrones" which is my favorite album of hers.

In all, honestly, it was a totally fabulous concert. Yes the venue and the heat and the waiting (she didn't even have an opening act) sucked. But SO totally worth it.

I didn't take a camera (I was afraid of it getting confiscated or something) but did take some crappy pics with the phone, they don't show anything but you can pretend they do.

A very tired Andy at the end of the night. I actually ended up being sick this whole week (which is why it took me so long to post this). I wasn't feeling well the day before and this experience def pushed me over the edge. Sometimes I wonder if illness is my natural state of being, and I just get well in random spurts

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mini Me-ez

So this is Meez.

Following James and Anthony, I decided to create an electronic cartoon version of me. For posterity's sake really. I honestly think the resemblance is not bad. Ethnicy shirt, jeans and sandals, eating a taco :-) (damn I miss Latin food). I was hoping to get something Indian as a background to commemorate my current residence, but you had to pay for it! So instead I have the beach, as nod to Puerto Rico.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Cape Town: The Original Cast

No travelogue would be complete without an introduction to those involved in the journey. Without further ado, below is the wayward cast of our little debauched field trip.

I can't imagine a finer bunch of drunken hooligans with which to enjoy a holiday with:

Chris, the Birthday Boy - Turning 40 never looked so good.
David, the Latino Marilyn Monroe - Who knew Mexicans had style!

Kiat, the gaysian - Got Rice?

Dave, the team leader - Multi-tasker/Coordinator nonpareil

Brett, the charmer - Wine connoisseur extraordinaire

Tony, the entertainer - Story teller par excellence, patience of a saint

Daniel, the witty Brit - bringing fun to a whole new level

And of course Me: Andy, the narrator - Voyeuristic chronicler of the asinine

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Robben Island

A visit to Cape Town would not be complete without a visit to Robben Island. The name is Dutch for "seal island" (or to be strictly accurate, "island of seals", because Robben is plural). In the 20th century it became infamous as a gaol for political prisoners under apartheid. Notable amongst these were Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Tokyo Sexwale, Govan Mbeki, Dennis Brutus and Robert Sobukwe.

From 1836 to 1931 the island was used as a leper colony.

You start of the tour with a bus ride around the island. Here is the lime quarry which prisoners had to work on. The cave served as toilet, dining area, class room, and meeting space. The quarry was the only place that prisoners were allowed to speak their native languages so a lot of politicking went on here.

During an anniversary event of the end of apartheid former prisoners came to the island. Mandela started this pile of rocks (he placed the first stone) as a sign of remembrance.

The view of Cape Town and Table Mountain.

There were so many wild animals. Including penguins and rabbits. Who knew they could co-habitate! Africa is so naturey :-P

The Actual prison. This was the political prisoners ward.

Solitary confinement

(random alien plant growing in the middle which I found cool)
Nelson Mandela's cell.

One cannot walk away and not think of the atrocities that man commits.
Back to our fantasy world.

Good-bye Robben Island. We shall never forget.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


So Africa has penguins! Who the fuck knew!?

Though they weren't exactly Happy Feet and there wasn't any singing and dancing, they still were adorable little boogers.