Friday, June 24, 2016
Monday, June 6, 2016
Today is the start of Ramadan 6 June 2016 and I woke up to the morning of silence outside the window. No pedestrian and no cars.
The Ibis World Trade Centre closes it's restaurants but breakfast for me was at the Novotel adjacent to the other entrance to World Trade Centre.
Saturday, June 4, 2016
Having my long awaited lunch of One Rack Rib with BBQ sauce. On the table across the aisle, there are 3 ladies and one of them is a really chubby Hawaii girl... and I mean really really chubby.
Her meal was 4 pcs of mini kids burger. Arrrgh you can imagine how little it looks in her hands. And she went on completing the assault on the burgers, stuffed some fries in her mouth and continued talking with the fries dangling to the music of her speech.
As she completed the mulching and gulping her drinks she started yawning!! And now she is sitting looking bored waiting for the others who are leaner in size to finish their meals at the usual 70kg human speed.
With a grrr look she has just ordered desert. I am losing my patience as I have finished my meal and I need to get to the theatre to catch the movie "Me before you" at 350pm. Seats are running out so I better run.
Let me take you through one of my adventures ... near Pallakad en-route from Malappuram to Coimbatore. We just concluded our trip to some schools in North Kerala and were crossing over to Tamilnadu on this day. I had with me Kumara Raj (who was then the Sr Manager of INTI International University) and also my colleague Vikraman.
|The toddy shop located near Pallakad|
As usual this was one of those unassuming shops tucked away in the midst of some paddy fields and most of its patrons were locals wearing the standard "lungi" and topless .... or a singlet. When we arrived well over-dressed in our jeans and T-shirts we certainly attracted a lot of attention.
For a start we looked like we were some misplaced tourists! Joseph's native Malayalam saved the day as his greeting and explanation solved the mystery of the lost tourists in a local toddy shop! The owner understood that these are just some "monkeys" from Malaysia trying to experiment with his toddy.
In combination with the tapioca the usual spicy fried chicken, pepper beef, mutton liver fry and toddy was available. Of course bottled water was NOT available ... it can be procured free from the nearby river according to the worker!
|The spicy presentation of the day|
Digging through the spicy spread, we amused ourselves watching the locals drink toddy and munch on the food just like snacks. The positioning of food was as a compliment to the drink ... not as a meal.
Personally, I enjoyed every bit of the food. Took a sip of the toddy but was too worried of a possible "tornado" in my digestive tract so did not continue too far. Taste of the toddy was pretty neat and smooth ... I must say it was not at all stinky like how I was made to believe.
My grandpa from my dad's side was a toddy harvester and he took his trade all the way to Malaysia and harvested toddy at Wessington Estate in Johore ... now it is called Simpang Renggam Estate belonging to Sime Darby Plantations. He must have been one of the "culprits" who contributed to the many toddy drinker's economic problems by supplying toddy to the nearby shops.
Coming back to Pallakad, this was a licensed toddy shop i.e. approved by the government and a license plate is hung outside the shop.
|Kumara with the club members|
The owner was not at all amused whether we got there in necktie and coat ... or with a half tied "lungi" or even without any dress. To him all that matters was whether we drink ... and pay! He gave a mild smile to show his happiness that we have travelled some 2,508 kilometres to taste his toddy ... knowing very well that we may never come back regardless of whether the toddy was sweet, sour, spoilt or killed the friendly bacteria in our stomachs. He knew very well that we are just "guest actors" on our way.
|The licensed owner of the shop|
With that he wanted to be in a photo with us ... and there you go, a shot with the supporting artistes of the Pallakad Toddy Trail.
|The two guys who were sure that we are film-makers out there to confirm the shooting location!|
|Toddy price list ... 1 litre costs 40 Indian Rupees (less than USD1.00 at that time)|
|A lady gathering her harvest of the day|
|Swaying coconut trees|
|Sprawling green fields far into the horizon|
|Advisers of President Obama discussing "World Grain Price Index" with their "lungis" half tied.|
|The real contributors to the well being of the crop|
I would not mind taking the same drive again some other time in the future ... hoping that the same toddy shop is still there with our supporters waiting for the film to be shot in that location!
Friday, June 3, 2016
The Filipino cleaner sprayed the nearby table and bent over to wipe. As he peeped through the window he saw 3 young Filipino girls trying to read the signage.
So now he switched from the half cleaned table to the window. Started wiping the window without spray. Only the hand working like a Nissan windshield wiper on intermittent mode... swinging one wipe every 5 seconds while watching the girls.
As the girls moved towards the door he too quickly switched his cleaning to the door. While the hand wipes the door the eye is waiting for the girls to walk in.
And now he opened the door gladly, smiling broadly and inviting them in! There is a long streak on the door glass - the dirt picked up from the window!!
The girls are here for a walk in interview. Now he is going to work overtime!! Or until the boss spot the dirt track on the door.