Thursday, July 26, 2007


I've never been one to be dazzled by the whole brand name lifestyle. While I don't hesitate to pay for good quality items, it does not need to have a particular name attached to it. French or otherwise. Same goes with cell phones. While I like cell phones, I'm in no dire need of the latest techno gizmo out there. Hubby got me a the Razor phone a while back, but I was adamant he didn't have to get me one. He went ahead anyway. And I love my new magenta Razor!

But there's always something better about to be released & unleashed onto the market making any new phone you may have just acquired obsolete (much like computers). The newly arrived iPhone has got everyone abuzz about its many features. But I have to admit the iPhone would be a pretty thing to own. How do I know this? Well, at my final post Lasik follow up today at the optometrist, a tourist patient needed help with looking up a contact on her iPhone. She couldn't see very well at that moment on account of her eyes being dilated for her checkup. So, I offered to look it up for her & got a taste of the iPhone. I have to say it's a pretty neat thing to be able to manoeuvre around. I would not mind having me a piece of that. I love gadgets with the touch screen feature.

I am sure many here in Bermuda would love to own one too! Bermudians are known for their penchant of all things branded. But the iPhone is one item no one (Bermudian or expat) will be able to get their hands, not here anyway. At least not now. Apparently, the iPhone's chosen network is exclusively AT&T. Sadly for some, this telecommunication company does not have jurisdiction nor the license to operate in Bermuda & so the iPhone will not be sold here. The tourist was able to use hers here thanks to the roaming feature. If you're planning an imminent move here to Bermuda & you've got yourself an iPhone, best dispose it off while you can for it will not do you much good here on the rock. It will hurt, but you'll be fine. There'll be many other things here on the island to distract you from the loss of your iPhone.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

shove over

Hey you drivers on the road...Is it too much to ask that you stay on your side of the yellow line & NOT encroach onto my side? I manage to stay on my side. It's not an unmanageable task, so shove over because I will no longer hesitate to 'toot' at you!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

desi dinner

This weekend I decided to dabble in some authentic Indian cooking. This can sometimes be an undertaking of sorts, as many complain that some Indian spices are not as readily available here. Some vegetarians say it's equally difficult being here on the island as they are not afforded the variety of vegetarian Indian food as they would be back in Toronto or India. And to them the produce is a huge letdown, as it encompasses none of the Indian vegetables that would ordinarily be available in the Chinatown or Indian grocers in Toronto or like at any regular grocers in India.

Yes, I have to admit that the choices are next to nothing when one's an Indian vegetarian. I cannot imagine myself being one, although the term Vegetarian means so many different things to so many different people. At a Toronto dinner a couple of years ago, one of my so called vegetarian friends reached for some Chicken Biryani. "STOP", I said. "It's got chicken".
"Oh, but I eat chicken", says the friend.
"But I thought you said you were a vegetarian", says I.
"Oh I am", she says. (!?!?!?!)
"Oh I see, you're a chicken eating vegetarian. Yeah, I don't think you can call yourself a vegetarian!"
And she shouldn't. It brings about un necessary confusion.

As a rule, I dislike hosting vegetarian dinner parties here in Bermuda. It's a bit of a challenge for me, as when I host I like to cook Indian food. For one thing, it's not something I cook very often & for another it's a cuisine that most love & most look forward to having. This past weekend we hosted an Indian dinner for some of our non-Indian friends. While Hubby was not sure how inclined they were to Indian food, he asked me not to make the dinner a 'hardcore' Indian one (hardcore indeed!). Well, much to his chagrin, our friends, emailed me a list of the Indian dishes they would like to have (apparently they are quite well versed with Indian cuisine, naming dishes that I didn't think existed & I partly grew up in India!). Well, I may be good, but I'm not that good. Attached is a sample of the few that I did end up making & it was a huge hit, especially desert which was a Papaya & Jackfruit Salad (especially this was their first time with the jackfruit). Well, don't let your mouth water too much!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


A conversation a couple of days ago with a couple of Bermuda residents about those persistent, truly unwanted critters (roaches) invading our space. (I'm not going to name names...and no it's not us).

Lady: Yeah, I found one big one the other night. A female. You can tell cause it flies.

Man: Yeah, she went to kill that thing with Baygon & sprayed too much. You're only supposed to spray a little you know. Baygon's very powerful & banned in most countries. You're not even supposed to be in the same room after you've sprayed. Sprayed so damn much it went in my nostrils. Made me woozy.

Lady: Well, you slept well that night, didn't you?

Me: (chuckle chuckle)

Man: Well, yeah. I was knocked out! You sprayed so much.

Lady: Well, you didn't even wake up once! Slept well, didn't you? So did I. All through the night.

Man: Sprayed so damn much.

Me: (still chuckling)

So, what's the lesson here. All you insomniacs, forget about Ambient & all those other sleeping pills & try your luck with Baygon.


I was at the library yesterday, getting a new library card because the old one has lost its bar code magic. The librarian looked at me & said: "You have 11 books out?!?!?" (The limit's only six). I feigned innocence.

Can I tell you though, six is not enough. Not for me who's been used to the 50 book limit back in the T(dot). OK, so I never had 50 books taken out at any one time, but it was nice to have that option. Downsizing is never a good thing. So, six is definitely not enough. No sirree. Not by a long shot.

Besides, what with Bermuda & the six number limit anyway?
The six library book limit.
The six year term limit for expats.
The six month probation.

Any more sixes out there on 'de rock'?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

the dogi pot

For many owning a dog comes with a chore that is perhaps not the best of chores. Many don't see it as a chore for they love their dog that much. Comes with the territory, they say. But what if you've never had a dog, always wanted one & somehow ended up dog sitting. Well, it's a chore now. I am talking about the 'Scoop the Poop' chore. Some of you reading this are thinking, 'Scoop the what? Well, I never!' Well, let me tell you...

Growing up in Dubai, back in the day (and I do mean back in the day), taking your dog out for a walk was not a chore. Bushes & grass were aplenty before the days of massive high rises & architectural marvels, letting your dog do its business in the grass meant no clean up. Now, I never had a dog but my friends did, so that's my source.

When we moved to Canada, our neighbour had the cutest Shitzu & during the summer I volunteered to take her out for a walk during the day. Well, my mom had a field day with the whole scoop the poop policy. I was the target of many many jokes among my family including 'fresh of the boat' uncles & aunts, none of whom were dog owners. Yet! And it was not a pretty job, scooping that poop! But it's the law & a good one at that. Although it would make me irate while walking in the park & coming across that which someone clearly failed to abide by the law. What's their excuse? Oh I forgot a baggie. Oh it's too darn cold.

A few weeks ago, I was at the Bermuda Botanical Gardens & came across the Dogi Pot & I was impressed. What a way to motivate someone to clean up after their dog. Now this is what Toronto needs at every park! You can bet the tax payers will be paying for this but then those with the 'I forgot a baggie' excuse will now longer have an excuse. Dubai now has a scoop the poop policy too. So, maybe they need a Dogi Pot too! But look closer at the pic, it says: A clean solution to dog pollution. I had no idea dogs were polluters. Damn, those mutts get blamed for everything. Poor poochies...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

social drinker * 10

The term Social Drinker is one that's amplified here on the island. Many an expat state that before coming Bermuda they never drank or didn't drink as much, but Bermuda's social scene has changed all that. What else is there to do on the weekend, once you've hit all the tourist hot spots? This is a small small island & making your own entertainment is mandatory & meeting up with friends for a few drinks or more is just the right antidote for the hectic work week. No matter where you work or what you do, it all boils down to the same thing. You know we're bitching about our experiences, work & personal & all the nuances of island life. Things that the folks back home could not even begin to relate to. We expats here really are in a league of our own.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

the hood

For those of you not aware of what the words 'The Hood' represents, it's colloquial for a really bad area, the kind that's riddled with crime on any given day. Growing up, I was not familiar with the term 'the hood'. Where I came from they were just called bad areas. Bombay's was Grant Road (I still remember that one, although this has probably changed). I can't remember Dubai having one (I'm sure one exists). Then I got to Toronto & that's when 'The Hood' was introduced. Toronto's hood would be Jane & Finch, an area to avoid at certain times. And every big cosmopolitan city has it's own hood!

Bermuda while not a city, has one too. In fact, that's the first question expats ask when they're apartment hunting. What's the place to avoid? Expats from Toronto will inquire: Where's 'the hood' in Bermuda? Well folks, Bermuda's hood sits on the northern end of Hamilton near Court Street. And it's not known as the hood. It holds it's own, Bermuda style. Said fast, it's known as Back-O'-Town (as in Back of Town). Endearing isn't it? Oh fear not! Bermuda's hood is not the same as Toronto. Most tell me that Toronto's hood is becoming ever more violent. Sometimes we manage to catch it on the news on City TV here. But caution & common sense should prevail in any hood. You wouldn't want to be walking around Back-a-Town all by yourself during the dead of night. Although, we do drive by there practically every morning. We've found it to be our 'get into town faster, avoid the morning rush route'. Every thing's different in the light of day!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

one choice less

When you're away from home, food is perhaps what tops the list of things that you miss, other than family of course. It is for this reason that it's incredibly comforting & welcoming to see familiar brands at the local grocery store abroad. For us, like many other Canadian expats here in Bermuda, President's Choice (PC) is just that brand. It's one of those tasteful gourmet brands that everyone loves to dabble in. It's also a big hit with the locals. Well, Bermuda residents, enjoy it while you can, because PC will no longer be imported into Bermuda. What you currently see on the shelves or in the freezer are items that either came in during their last shipment or those that were back ordered. Once the stock's depleted, replenishments won't be on the next cargo ship. The reason - apparently PC would like to focus more on it's very own Canadian market & so have chosen to cut their product exports to Bermuda. Or so I was told while enquiring about their quiches. So, this is going to one more Canadian thing I'm going to miss. Time to stock up, EH?

Monday, July 09, 2007

the big kapok

You may recognize this plant on the left. It's a commonly used indoor plant, more prevalent in office lobbies & spaces than anywhere else. It's presence can be an annoyance if you're left in charge to ensure it stays green. Not everyone has a green thumb right? Well, give this plant a couple of hundred years or more in its tropical home & look at the height it can achieve. This is the Kapok Tree. Are you looking at it closely? Pay particular attention to its trunk & roots because one extension of this root was taller than my 5'2" frame. It's mesmerizing when you're standing at the foot of this tree, because you realize how small you really are. And if you're a nature lover, you realise how lucky this tree was to survive all those hurricanes, not to mention the invasion of man. This beauty is sprawled at the edge of The Royal Botanical Gardens, just off South Shore Road. Surrounded by bamboo trees, it is perpetually a cool shady spot, no matter how much the summer sun decides to blaze on that particular day.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


According to StatCounter, a Missouri visitor plugged in the phrase 'expats taking over Bermuda' & got to this blog. It made me laugh, on the inside of course. There's no possible way we are taking over Bermuda! We comprise of a minuet percentage of Bermuda's 66,000 + population. About less than 10,000 of us expats are here on this rock 'ruling' the land. Unlike the Cayman where the expat population is around 58% or in Dubai where the expat population is 80% Now, there's a place where expats could take over if they wanted to. The Arabs better be vigilant because it's probably going to happen any day now. Everyone knows that's what expats do anyway, we swoop in & take over.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

oye russell! somebody gonna get a hurt real bad!

By now I'm sure some of you have heard of the Indian Canadian comic Russell Peters? He's garnered critical acclaim & tremendous popularity all over the world via his stand up comedy tour, famous for making fun of his own typically Indian culture & then some others. He is perhaps the only comic I know that can poke fun at any culture or race & not have it be construed as a political faux pas. Of course, being a minority/ a person of colour helps. Only he could go to Dubai, poke fun at the Arabs & get away with it! (Actually, I'm surprised they didn't ban his caboose after that!)

Russell is currently dabbling in his Homecoming tour, one that recently included Toronto & yet to take place, a free show on July 27th in downtown Toronto. Needless to say I am missing this event tremendously (free or not) & am not happy about it. Wouldn't it be nice if he came to Bermuda? I wonder what he'd have to say about Bermuda/Bermudians in his routine because you know he'd incorporate something so obviously apparent in his uniquely humourous way. The possibilities are endless.

Here's the video that made him famous & one you'll never tire of. I'd love to hear from those of you viewing this for the first time. (This video is so worth the load time).

Still want to know more about Russell? Then click on these CBC interviews:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A friend from Dubai, Hercule Marple (of course that's not his real name) emailed me to say that the locals were in fact offended by Russell's show. And so were the Filipinos. Dubai does have a large Filipino population, so I can only imagine Russell's Filipino rendition. I reckon it will be a while before it gets posted on You Tube. For the record, I think they need to lighten up over there. It's all in good fun. Take a lesson from this adorable Chinese kid. He's imitating Russell's Chinese imitation for Pete's sake.

the stop list

Since 9/11 America has not only beefed up their security measures but have also clamped down on visitors entering their domain. They've introduced legislation, policies & all sorts of checks that have been put into place to ensure that they aren't letting in the wrong kind of crowd, i.e. potential terrorists or criminals that could be potential terrorists. Ample pressure has also been placed on Canada, because in their mind potential terrorists can sneak in through the border (the largest unprotected border in the world). The reality is that it's often hard to catch or pinpoint a potential terrorist & so far so many broad generalizations have been made on deciding whom to approve & whom to reject. However, when it comes to protecting one's homeland, especially given past events, paranoia seems to work best.

Last week's milk carton featured this message & as I began to pour, I actually stopped to read the message, for perhaps the first time. A few hours later I watched Hubby do the same. It definitely catches your eye. We've read about the Stop List before - newspapers urging Bermuda's citizens to stay crime free, as this poses an obstacle for travel to the US, especially if convicted of certain crimes. The Stop List is quite serious. Not being able to travel to America for most Bermudians is an inconvenience at best & a damper on their many vacation plans. Being so close to Bermuda, many locals take the quick flight over to many states in America for shopping trips or just plain fun. Take that away & you're left with very few options. Sure, there's Canada as an alternative, but flight rates are far more expensive than many of the deals available to many US hot spots. The Stop List applies to any & all nationalities not just Bermuda but perhaps no more regulated than here. For some of Bermuda's youth, the Stop List can be viewed as nothing less than an incentive to stay away from crime, if they would like to someday visit the land of opportunity, or at least have the option to.