Blogs from Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, India, Asia - page 3

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Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Srinagar February 22nd 2013

4:41pm Once again, writing this during office hours – very bad, I know – but since I’ve already spent hours today (on Mustafa’s suggestion) participating in an education roll-out that has nothing to do with me, and since I’ve done all the work that I can do without the collaboration of either Rahim or Mustafa, I figure this is a sensible use of my time. This is especially true today as the Country Programme Director is here, and Englishman called Neil, and it is possible that I may end up wining and dining with him this evening. Fingers crossed I don’t have to: don’t get me wrong, he seems okay, but my poor IBS bowels are shredded after 2 consecutive nights drinking beer with Rahim (since Fosters was out of stock we had to go with ... read more

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Srinagar February 21st 2013

4:56pm Good lord this workshop is boooooooorrrrrrring. And I don’t feel guilty about saying so, since it’s education not child protection focused. I decided to sit in on some of it this morning in order to learn what I can about rolling out a new project: having been a teacher myself in a past life I get most of what is going on, in spite of the fact that most of the discussion is in Hindi/Urdu. However, this afternoon has been all about planning in detail the activities which will be carried out over the next three years. IHI India staff from Delhi and J&K plus around 15 representatives from the local partners all trying to agree on minute details such as how long a job advert should be placed in the local papers (which then ... read more

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Srinagar February 20th 2013

6:18pm I’m sitting in my office waiting for a meeting to finish downstairs before I leave. I’m waiting for two reasons: 1. Because most of the rest of the staff are in it and if I stick around to the end it will show camaraderie and win me some brownie points (especially since some of the Delhi staff are in there – I’m such a manipulative twat at times!). I don’t need to attend the whole meeting since it’s about education, not child protection. But more significantly... 2. Because Rahim and I are going to get the beers in tonight. Yey! So, the Delhi staff are here because we’re doing a three day roll-out of the new education project which is starting here in April. Representatives from all the local partner organisations are here ... read more

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Srinagar February 19th 2013

The customer service world is out to get me: I have just been refused treatment for haemorrhoids by a pharmacist! Having had the uncomfortable sensation of having a sharp rocked lodged up my arse for the last few days I had a feel around whilst I was in the shower this morning and concluded that I have haemorrhoids; they’re not exactly difficult to diagnose, after all. I figure it’s a not entirely surprising after-effect of all the stress my arse has been put under throughout the diarrhoea problems I have had since my arrival in Kashmir. So on my way home from work today I decided to face the embarrassment and pop into the local pharmacy/wand shop and get some cream. Mercifully the shop was empty and it was the same guy who had served me ... read more

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Srinagar February 18th 2013

An absolute classic in Kashmiri customer service today. Over the last 4 months I have grown accustomed to being in the middle of being served in a shop, phone recharge centre, post office etc. only to have the assistant suddenly divert their attention from me to the person who’s just walked up to the counter and is demanding their immediate service. You’ll be just about to complete your transaction when you’ll have to wait for another person to get seen to before the attention comes back to you. And the best part of it is, no-one here seems to bat an eyelid at it! Initially it used to drive me nuts, but I thought I was over it by now. However, my experience today was in a league entirely of its own. Today I went along ... read more

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Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Srinagar February 17th 2013

Another wonderfully warm day (dare I wonder if this winter is finally over?) and I have just returned from an afternoon spent playing with the kids at Bait-ul-Rahim. It was the stuff memories are made of, for me and hopefully for the children too: hours spent playing together in the sunny forecourt of the orphanage, not a tantrum, tear or torn trouser-knee in sight. I really have grown fond of those children whilst I’ve been here, and I think that we have managed to negotiate a relationship which works well for both of us; my visits to the orphanage provide us all with a distraction from the monotony of the daily routine and a chance to share experiences which are foreign, new and exciting. Returning to Relax Inn this afternoon, I realised that - ... read more

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Srinagar February 16th 2013

I wish everyone in Srinagar would just fuck off! Just fuck right off! Take you questions and your rickshaws and your shikaras and shove them right up your arse! JUST FUCK OFF! Ahhh, that’s better. I’ve just got back from a sightseeing and photo shoot tour of Srinagar. A two and a half hour mammoth circuit of the city to try and capture in photos an impression of what the place is like, as a memento for me and in order to be able to show people back home. When I awoke this morning to blazing sunshine and blue skies, I knew that this was the time to do it; with only a few weekends left here and freezing snowfall and glorious sunshine seemingly working in shifts at the moment, there’s no guarantee that ... read more

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Srinagar February 13th 2013

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 Early morning phone call from Mustafa. Unexpected curfew. Lie-in. Devil Wears Prada. Work. Internet down/leave work early with Rahim. Beer prison. Relax Inn rm. 203/Rahim/take-away food and beer. Prison Break. Beer. Prison Break. Beer (cigarettes). Prison Break. Beer (cigarettes). The Royle Family. Beer. Prison Break. Beer (cigarettes). Porn confession/friendship progression. (Cigarettes). Copying of porn files to Rahim’s pen drive. Bye-bye Rahim/Devil Wears Prada. Love curfews (And I’m guessing that Rahim does too, now!).... read more

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Srinagar February 12th 2013

First thing this morning I put a list up in the kitchen of all the things that I want to do before I leave Srinagar. It’s based on the list that I wrote in this diary a few weeks ago, although I’ve adapted it to include only the things that my colleagues may be able and willing to help out with. It reads like this: Ten Things I Want To Do Before I Leave Kashmir: Below are the things which I would like to do before I go back to the UK in early March. If you think you can help facilitate any of them, please let me know!!! Also, if you can think of any more which should be added, please feel free to add them! 1. Buy fresh fish from the women ... read more

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Srinagar February 10th 2013

The sun is shining again, the temperatures have risen a little, I’m back in my hotel room after a night at the orphanage, and I’m feeling good. Yesterday I finally succumbed to the countless requests that I have had from the children at the orphanage to stay with them overnight. I’d promised that I would stay again before I left for the UK, and with my free weekends running out it was time to make good on that promise. I alwayskeep my promises to children; one of the things that attracted me to Infant Help International was their claim to do the same. Anyway, that’s the reason why there is no diary entry for yesterday. I headed over to the orphanage laden with laptop, projector and speakers at around 5pm yesterday. Aziz was on ... read more




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