Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I need a fixer. To fix my job anxiety. I loved the work I did for two years, but I don't want to do it anymore. Yes, my friends are right - it's weird to be unemployed at 25-going-on-26 and weirder still to be content to wait for the right job to come along, but my gut is telling me that it's the right thing to do for now. Once I'm older and have to be more responsible, I may not have the luxury to wait for the most interesting job and do what sounds like fun!

I need a fixer. To fix a broken friendship. I don't want to feel the faint heart burn when I'm talking to someone and I realize that a lot has changed and we're not the same people anymore. I want to feel happy for that person when he tells me about other relationships without feeling resentful that I was not treated with similar respect. I want to wipe the slate clean and start afresh so that I have no memories except that he'z ma frnd and that I care.  

I need a fixer.If you're reading this and do magic, send one my way.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Culture Shock

Singapore was brighter and shinier than I had anticipated. Singapore emanates the efficient and convenient vibe, with the trains running on time, taxis always stopping in the taxi queue and never saying no to customers and with iPhone apps designed by Singapore Tourism to help me get around the city. All in all, Singapore turned out to be the perfect location for a holiday where I wanted no stress and nothing to bombard my senses.

The huge malls, the mega brands and the beautiful clothes were expected. So were the efficient trains, lovely food joints, the amusement parks and idyllic museums with convenient audio guides. The comfort provided by the sheer first-worldness of the city was enough to make me feel better.


But now I'm home and down with a massive throat infection. Trust me to come out of Africa and fall sick in Singapore! The lack of activity and house arrest is adding to my anxiety about what the future is going to bring. I (vaguely) know what I want to do, but the thought of putting myself out there and finding a job and moving on in life is scary.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Before I Forget - 3

My favourite things! So I can really get on with it and write about other stuff that's eating my brain from the inside out. This post is peppered with food references, but I think that's more me than the country.

5. Peanut Butter. I know I know.This isn't Malawian or even particularly unique. But it's related to my visit, because I survived the first part of my trip on peanut butter and crackers. It was December, I was new to the place and always hungry. Not sure how much weight I put on because of the stupid peanut butter, but I was so enamoured at finding it in a Malawian super market, that I (almost) didn't mind.

4. Flashlight: I landed up in Africa without one of the fancy disco flashlights or the trusted head lamp, but was grateful for my phone light, which was strong and never died out on me. Stopped me from running for the woods on many dark nights without electricity when I couldn't see a thing and imagined some creepy thing crawling up my legs!

3. Chitenze (or some other spelling): 2 metre cloth with traditional African prints and perfect to make a dress, pants or even just use as a beach towel. The beautiful African hand printed cloth brought much fun and colour to our market trips.  

2. Beans. Eat it with Nsima, eat it with rice, it's still going to taste the same. Vegetarian, light on the stomach and wonderfully consistent in taste, it was like healthy comfort food - a concept that didn't exist before beans! It tastes even better when eaten with Nali, which brings me to... ONE!

1. Garlic Nali! Yes, it tastes better than mild or hot nali. It can be mixed with beans, rice, chicken, eggs or absolutely any other food! And yes it tastes good only in Malawi. I tried putting some on my eggs when at home in India, and it just didn't... work. But I guess it happens with food sometimes. It's like how Indian food tastes good only in India. Try having butter chicken or dal-roti in Switzerland, and it will make you want to throw up (sorry butter chicken!)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Before I Forget - 2

November to February. My favourite places in Malawi. Restaurants, bars, tourist towns - you've got them all in Top Five, Edition 2!!  

5. Harry's Bar :- the latest pub frequented by the expat community, people bitched about the badly stocked bar, the small menu, the slow service, but always went back. I think one of the big reasons was how flexible and homey Harry's is. You can hold quiz night, organize a party, get a guitar and drums and entertain the crowd with minimum fuss or even set up a temporary store with minimum fuss. The old couches, the long wooden bar and mismatched furniture, only add to the charm!

4. Bombay Palace:- makes the list for being the restaurant we went to the most number of times. Authentic Punjabi food and a central location combined to make the restaurant very popular in our circle. Miles ahead of its competitor, Country Lodge, this was one place where I could eat Dal Roti Chicken in peace.

3. Zomba Plateau: 4 hours from Lilongwe, this is not an obvious flat plateau but nevertheless a beautiful, green and lush mountain that finally makes Malawi less tame and more Africa-esque. It is surrounded by quirky temperate forests (yes, in the middle of a hot, south of the tropics country!) with a river flowing down the mountain. We didn't trek but you could!

2. Anna Khofi or Some-Such-Name/ Four Seasons :- the best (and perhaps only) Deli in town. They served brilliant sandwiches, salads and cake. Eating a late lunch at the Deli and staying on for Jazz at Four Seasons, where you could lounge on the grass and listen to music, had become a pleasant and comforting Sunday routine.

1. Cape Mac, Lake Malawi:- blue, pristine and dotted with small green islands, Lake Malawi at Cape Mac is pretty as a picture. While going there with 30 other people and Gecko's (backpacker's inn and the biggest party in town) contributed to the fun and frenzied weekend, I can still imagine spending many quiet days by the beach with nothing to do but read, float in the water and soak up the sun.