1. Before I left the States, I was surprised by the amount of people who went out of their way to tell me how much they’d hated India the first time they went. I dismissed their gripes as first world problems and thought nothing more of it until I flew in and spent some time there myself. I’m not entirely sure how you’re supposed to prepare yourself for what is probably the most extreme culture shock this planet has to offer, but I was immediately overwhelmed by the sights, the sounds, the colour, the smell, the lack of waste management! There were days when I didn’t want to leave the hotel. But like Buck, I played on.
2. The upsides: All you can eat Indian food; the most genuinely friendly, enthusiastic and hospitable people I’ve ever met; strange men coming up to my girlfriend and taking photos on their cellphones without asking (so many LOLz! maybe not for her though); losing my concept of personal space; five star accommodation for under 80 bucks a night; swimming in oceans that don’t give you goosebumps; buying Indian princess outfits for my toddler niece; the rickshaws!; shopping in actual Indian, not-for-the-tourists retail districts and using my boss-like negotiation skills (until a fellow customer turned around and told me in perfect English that there’s no bargaining in this mall); the head waggling; the word Namaste.
3. The downsides: Food poisoning! From a god damn piece of lettuce! At my god damn five star hotel!; the burning piles of rubbish on every street corner; the pollution; that strange feeling you get when somebody tells you yes but you’re not 100% sure you can trust that they don’t actually mean no (this applies to everything from taxi drivers knowing the route to your destination, to a hotel receptionist telling you that he has logged your wake up call request for your 5:00am flight the next morning); every single thing that happens at the airports.
4. I just got mad with my cousin Nikau for making me hang up my washing outside instead of putting it in the dryer like a normal person. I’ve been gone too long.
5. The good news is that my mother and sister both graduated today with a PhD and a Masters, respectively, alongside Graham Henry, who was given an honorary PhD in Education. The bad news is that I am now the least qualified member of my family.
7. Tip of the hat to Sean Hotchkiss – my former partner in crime on the Like the Boys series – for scoring the greatest menswear writing job known to man: Reviewing bespoke suits. As you’d expect there’s only one way to review these bespoke suits… Enter The Suited Man. Well played, sir.
8. Why is it that I can travel all around the world without ever worrying about getting beaten up by drunken idiots, then come back to New Zealand and be terrified by every card carrying member of the male gender. Kiwi men are so fricken aggressive! It freaks me out! I want my Mum.
9. Song of the week! Ain’t nobody fresher than my mother******* Clique.
10. Katherine‘s selling a special limited edition never seen before colourway of our THUGGED OUT SINCE CUB SCOUTS tee shirts at Arcade next week. Get in the game.
I LIKE YOU!