mungbean in india

Category Archives: Bangalore

Tropical Diseases

I had my first brush with Tropical Diseases recently. As I’ve moaned about regularly since arriving in Bangalore 17 months ago, I’ve been mildly sick  quite often here… I mainly put this down to a combination of unfamiliar cold-like viruses and the terrible air pollution here, along with large amounts of dust during the dry parts of the year.   (Whereas local people often seem to blame any sickness on “the change in the weather”.)  But up to now, I’d […]


Photo: The Hindu / K. Gopinathan I learned a new word today — POURAKARMIKA. In Bangalore, this is the name given to the cleaners who pick up the garbage that everyone dumps on street corners and improvised rubbish tips.  (We don’t have household dustbins here.)  When I first arrived here it was a surprise to see that in a cosmopolitan and supposedly hi-tech city of 9 Million people, the streets are cleaned by women in saris, using 2 twig-brooms, which in the […]


Photo: Caisii Mao I saw something very poignant and sad on the way to work this morning. Even on my short journey, the auto-rickshaw goes past quite a few rubbish dumps. They’re generally on a street corner, or a plot of empty land. Not really official dumps, but just a place used by the people who live and work in the area as a place to put their garbage. There are almost always rag pickers there too, sifting through the […]

Festive 50 Part 4: 20-11

So I started a “Festive 50″countdown just before Christmas, but didn’t get to the end of it yet… mainly because I’ve been working absolutely flat-out at college since the start of January, and I’ve just been utterly exhausted. Plus I couldn’t decide on the categories for the last 20… :P Anyway, after Birds, Words and Food, here comes Part 4…  LIFE. Here are 10 of the most notable ways in which life has changed since moving to India. #20: Weather A […]


As I wrote 2 months ago, I had to move to a new apartment — or “shift” — recently.  Actually it’s been 4 weeks since I moved, but work has been unbelievably hectic since the start of 2012 and I’m only just catching up with stuff. I had been really dreading finding a new place, since my first experience of flat-hunting in Bangalore wasn’t good.  So many apartments here seem to be a pile of junk, or really dirty, or […]

Sonia and Nick

One of the things I’ve realised about expat life is that people regularly come and go.  But two of the people who’ve recently left our college, and Bangalore itself, will be particularly missed. Sonia and Nick were the only other British lecturers in the college, and not only did they help me to settle into life in Bangalore, but they also provided much-needed cultural reference-points, and even got most of my rubbish jokes which would have been lost on everyone […]


1st January, 8.30am.  Woken by the sun streaming in through the bedroom sky-light, and the silence being shattered by some very loud shouting in the street. Hangover-free and glad to see that the sky is blue and the sunshine is back, after 3 days of cold, grey, wet and windy weather caused by the tail end of Cyclone Thane, which had been causing destruction and even some deaths over on the East coast. Shorts and trainers on, I put the recycling […]

Festive 50 Part 3: 30-21

Indian food is fantastic!   Coming from the UK I already knew the cuisine pretty well, especially after living in Leicester which has a very large South Asian population.  But since living here I’ve discovered much more about it and have enjoyed it even more.  For me, the food is one of the best things about living here. South India is paradise for vegetarians too.  I do eat fish occasionally, but I mostly eat “veg” here and it’s a real […]

Festive 50 Part 2: 40-31

And so, from Birds to Words. As a foreigner, one of the things you notice when moving here is that the English language has followed its own evolutionary path since the time of “British India”.  This can bring amusement, bemusement or confusion, but usually joy of some sort.  As someone who’s interested in languages anyway, I love it. Anyway, here are 10 words and expressions that I’ve encountered so far — again in no particular order. #40: Lakh (and Crore) […]

Festive 50 Part 1: 50-41

It’s almost the end of the year, which as everyone knows is when you’re supposed to make lists. So, in loving memory of one of my all-time heroes, the late and very-much missed John Peel, I’m going to write up my own “Festive 50” — in my case a list of 50 notable things about India — over the next few days.  Unlike Peel’s 50, these aren’t really in any particular order… Anyway, 50-41 are Birds. I’m a big nature-lover […]