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28 December 2010

Five years in India

FIVE YEARS ago today, I arrived in India to work with a startup hypermarket retailer. As I had never lived here before, the first three months were exploratory but greatly intolerable. Chaotic infrastructure, inefficiency of public services, and often fetid climate made me want to seek less confining places to live outside India. It didn’t help that there were no Filipinos I knew in Mumbai, where I first stayed (except for high school batch mate Gil Amilbangsa in Pune, and he had to leave a few months later). Worst, the Baha’i center was 20 miles by car from where I lived.

12 December 2010

Filipino Christmas in Kolkata

THE FILIPINOS of Kolkata got together today at Roger and Lori Calvo's warm, spacious residence in south Kolkata to celebrate Christmas togetherness.  As expected, there’s the exchange of gifts and tons of food.  The first to go was sisig, a much-beloved Filipino delicacy consisting of chopped pig head—sounds detestable but truly delectable.  I packed two full plates of leftover pansit (Filipino-styled rice noodles) and pork afritada for dinner back home.