I rant you risten
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Yes, summer is here: there are no more flirtations with semi cool days, there are no more clouds in the sky to protect us, and there is certainly no more room for anything long sleeve. But the sea is still pleasant, it’s not cool, or chilly, it’s perfect room temperature water, which I don’t have to tell you is a lot better than swimming in soup (if you’ve ever gone swimming in July/august you know what I mean).
In this heat, there are only a couple of things that actually keep us cool in this weather. You can either live the next few months in linen (always a good idea) or you can rehydrate/dehydrate yourself with some nice cold refreshing beverages. When it’s really khot outside, this is what I like to drink…
1. Gin and Tonic – The history of this drink dates back to the east India tea company, which introduced the glass of something to its troops stationed in the heat of Asia. Tonic contains quinine (a crystalline alkaloid that acts as an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever and anti-malarial). Because tonic was so bitter at the time, the troops could only knock it back if gin was added to it. the magic mix: In a tumbler filled with ice, mix, three parts tonic to one part gin, add a squeeze of lime and toss the wedge in, stir and enjoy. I know a lot of people that don’t really like g&t, but I find people just don’t drink it in the right environment, try it this summer and you’ll see what I mean. The combination of the ice, the refreshing tonic, and a healthy dose of gin makes the whole concoction flow down your throat so easily. I like to keep the lime wedges in my glass, helps me keep track of how many drinks I’ve had... G&T, I love thee..
2. Mojito – (pronounced moheeto if you didn’t already know) now I admit, I do not appreciate Bacardi taking advantage of a resurrected drink and beating it senseless with advertisements. But if a place makes a good mojito, well then there’s nothing better than that. Drafted in from Cuba, the Mojito is essentially made from: rum, mint, limes, sugar, and soda water. The trick is to muddle (with a pestle) the mint leaves sugar and limes in a glass, add the rum and then top off with the soda water and some mint or lime garnish. #1 you must use decent rum, #2 the muddling releases the flavors and reaffirms your expert mixology whether you have it or not, #3 The sugar you use is also very important, cane sugar works best. Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson drank Mojitos (separately, although I’m sure they would have been the best of friends) until the sun came up and then set again.. we even came up with a song, “Mo. Mo. Mo. MoMo… MOJITO”
3. Sangria – coming from the Spanish word (derived from latin), sangre or blood, is a refreshing summer drink that is easily enjoyed by everyone. I learned to make from uncle hamad who learned it from his friend, an Argie dip living in Madrid – so the recipe does have a little history, which is always cool. Although the recipe was passed down in confidence, I think it’s time to share this wealth of information; sangria is for communal enjoyment, you can’t all enjoy it if someone’s hiding the recipe. So here we go: regular table wine, cointreau (orange liquer), either vodka/brandy/cognac (depending on what you have), sliced fruit (apples, oranges, pears), juice (apple or orange), sprite, and sugar. Slice up the fruit, and pour the wine, then add a good measure or two of cointreau and then the other liquor you’ve got. Pour some juice into the mix, add a spoon of sugar, and then add the sprite. Now people will tell you to save the sprite till the end because of the carbonation, I say hogwash, add it and make sure the taste all works together. Let it chill in the fridge and then serve it over some ice. Through many pitchers, I’ve learned that no one really enjoys a lethal and strong sangria; but a subtle easy to drink sangria – that’s what gets people in the mood.
4. Cerveza – end of the day, there’s very little that can come between you and a cold cerveza on a hot day. There is nothing more refreshing than shoving your hand in a bucket of ice or cooler to pull out a cold can of brew. And then when you fish out the beer, you shake off the excess cold water and crack it open. I think the most beautiful image is the beach, a bucket with ice, and a couple of beers resting in that bucket, blissfully blissful..
Yeah so it is an alcohol related post. Just helping you decide what you should consider drinking this cruel summer. Kampai..
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
This recent music video smut phenomenon kicked off with that catchy 2004 “tearing up the dance floor fist pump” commersh anthem Call on Me by Swedish flash, Eric Prydz. If you haven’t seen the video well then let me sum it up for you.. A sexually suggestive video reminiscent of Physical with Olivia Netwon John, but instead of all those fat guys, it’s an aerobics dance class of the choiciest of ladies dressed in 1980s aerobics gear. As the class goes through its “sexafied” workout, the girls spend a lot of quality time rubbing their breasts and slapping their respective buttocks, attracting the alluring eyes of its male viewership. The video was so popular in Australia that it was downloaded 35,000 times onto people’s mobiles. Needless to say, if Bahrain had a functioning 3G network at the time, we’d all be watching and rewatching the video ourselves, instead, we had to settle for leaving MTV in the background until it came up. Luckily for us, MTV has nothing good to offer and relooped the same video a couple of times in one sitting.. Rrraaadiicall.
It seems that the formula of catchy dance tune + pretty girls + sexually suggestive dance moves = popular music video. With a winning formula like that, people remain glued to their TV sets watching and then when they’re walking around the office, they continually hum the tune while mentally recalling the brazen booty of a particular dance sequence… aaah, good times..
The other day, I was at a friends place and in the interest of background noise, MTV was thrown on the telly.. Luckily, it was the dance video segment and I must say, the formula is back and badder than ever. Out of the 10 videos that appeared during the segment, 6 had the formula. I watched two friends fastened to their seats in front of the TV with no desire to even contemplate moving or offer a helping hand while the rest cooked.
Averting my eyes to the screen briefly, my brain quickly registered what was going on in the video, blocked out all the noise and surroundings, and sent neural messages to my body to stop everything and just watch. I remained a catatonic mass disinterested in anything except the girls in skimpy cotton underwear playing football. The booms and beats in the background were of little consequence except for the fact that while that music was on the girls were still running around. We watched the whole video, a football match between the blondes and the brunettes, and neither of us new who won, who scored a goal or what was going on. Yes it did feel slightly Pavlovian, completely sucked into the formula of watching girls move around, but I didn’t care. The close-ups, ohh the close-ups.. After the video I realized the formula and how effective it was… now I feel programmed to definitely watch the next time I see this video come on and I will demand to watch it if possible, and eventually, hum the tune at work. Yes, sex sells and has been taken to a new level.
There were a couple of more videos that I causally glanced over, and tried to pull myself away from. The one thing that stayed true is that they all kept to the formula: dance music, half naked women, and lots of provocative dancing.
I don’t know if Arabic music videos took a lesson from Eric Prydz or if they knew the formula all along, but the music channels like “Mazzika” can get pretty soft core. I always chuckle when I see the older gentleman on the treadmill at the gym salivating over Nancy or Maria or Alyssa (running out of names) in her latest music video. You hear the claps and cheers, the “aaakkhhhh” s and so on and so forth.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Thee days before we’re scheduled to leave and the aerial unit of the Tamil Tigers attempt to bomb the military fuel complex at the international airport. News breaks out that flights have been cancelled and I fret for about an hour. A brief moment of apprehension was the catalyst in a series of phone calls. This is the gist of those phone calls:
The tigers tried to bomb the airport,
Really? Is it still safe?
Yeah, relatively. It’s just that Emirates cancelled their flights there.
I guess it’s good we’re flying Sri Lankan Air then..
Yea.. I just hope they don’t cancel our flight..
We’re still going right?
Of course, I’m not worried.
But we’re taking a car.. I don’t want wait around the airport for a seaplane to take us...
Fine, you sissy..
And with that, our plans steamrolled ahead.. Something magical about
Again with the mosquitoes..
Maybe we were asking for it by visiting
There is something to be said about the satisfaction of squashing a mosquito with your bare hands and seeing the blood that was just recently sucked from your skin splattered between your palms. Mosquito killing spree mornings were a lovely tradition of revenge on the trip. The nice thing about this was after being jacked on antihistamines, lotions and various remedies, I went to see an Ayurvedic doctor who rubbed some homebrew of oils and leaves on my arms to stop the swelling – in the karmic scheme of things, it felt nice getting holistic treatment meant to be cheap, but expensive because it’s in a hotel, for free.. Did that even make sense?
I'm on vacation, sure i'll have another...
Because of my anxiety and constant complaining about looking grotesque for my vacation pictures (over 15 swollen bites all over my face).. I was fed two bottles of wine a day with a number of drinks spaced out to keep my buzz and forget about my appearance. Let me tell you, there’s nothing that numbs the urge to itch, than inebriation.. It just keeps you jovial and merry, well except for the fact that I might have spurred alcoholism, but that’s all ok now.. Hiccup.
When in Ceylon, drink Ceylon
Not that I could tell the difference, but I was hoping to drink some good tea while in
Walking on a 200-acre tea plantation inspecting the various types of teas and pesticide free produce, we came across a lot of sound. Apparently the workers on the tea plantation are really into their hi-fi sets, spending all their salaries and using credit to buy sound systems. And that’s not all, these workers pit their hi-fi sets against each other and jack up the music, dancing after a long day at the plantation. Although I was taken back by the 100 year old machines used to process the tea leaves to the stuff we drink every morning, I couldn’t help but wonder how crazy the ear blasting dancehall parties got on a tea plantation in south west Sri Lanka.
Tourism, Tsunami and the Tamil Tigers
The locals are super friendly and really appreciate visitors, so no worries about people ripping you off or wanting to rip you off – maybe a little, but nothing too bad. And yes, there are troubles with the Tamil Tigers, but that shouldn’t deter you from going, the situation is between them with the government and not tourists.. Obviously, stay away from crowds, try not to get stuck in the thick of a busy location, keep your head down and no one will bother you at all. Some of the architecture was absolutely beautiful there with Geoffrey Bawa (
Goin back? mosdef
All in all, good food, beautiful scenery, nice people, and laid back life made
Not for nothing but...
I don’t want to gloat, but,,, there is a certain cool factor when you’re flipping through this month’s wallpaper and find them talking about your hotel. Tres hip. And yes it was dedoned out, we enjoyed the leaf.