You Looking At Me?

It’s been a while since I had a rant but today I’m ill, very tired and have a wet bum, so if you spit tobacco or talk incessantly on your phone on a night-train I’m going to get wound up. And should you stare at me, god-forbid, well…

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Please Stop Watching Me Wee

There’s a difference between a toilet cleaner and a toilet attendant. A toilet cleaner is someone whose job it is to clean toilets. A toilet attendant, however, is different. Their job is to lurk by the entrance to the convenience and guide you through, as if the ‘Toilet This Way’ sign was not obvious enough, and then point you to a cubical or urinal they believe is most suitable for your requirements. They’ll then mill around close by, putting you off going for a wee.

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In India It’s Always The Woman’s Fault

Homepage of the BBC News website today: Indian actress banned from the Kannada Film Producers Association for having an affair with south India’s action hero actor, Darshan. Apparently she has spoiled “the domestic harmony of a fellow actor”.

Of course she has, she’s a woman. It’s always the woman’s fault when a man has an affair behind his wife’s back. Nikhita Thukral should be stoned. In fact she almost was…

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Stand, Sit Or Squat? A Bottomological Dilemma

For those fortunate not to have experienced a squatter toilet, you’re lucky: it’s a combination of yoga, swimming and ****ing through the eye of a needle. But what I don’t understand is how I am supposed to maintain a squatting position without getting cramp. And what is that bucket and jug combo for? I’m unsure. I do have a couple of theories though. Read on…

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Fair Enough – The Shame Of The Indian Beauty Industry

Like most countries Indian TV ads are a pile of crap. Here, though, it is the beauty industry that needs to hold its head in shame. Not only are the ads rubbish, many of them claim to make your skin lighter. We are told this by famous two-dimensional Indian actresses and beautiful, glamorous zombie-like models whose natural skin colour are near-white anyway.

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The Sooner These Miserable Sods Leave, The Better

A number of boats have turned up recently, heading west. Never before have I met such a miserable bunch of sailors. I thought it was just me but this morning a friend of ours who was cleaning her boat asked “What is it about these people?” They simply cannot bring themselves to say ‘hello’.” She is a cheery lady who could make even Scrooge smile. What do you think? Let us know.

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A Festive Message From The Esper Gang

Christmas is a’ coming and the nuns are out in force. Yep, you can tell it’s the festive season here in Cochin because the ladies in grey habits are running amok in the Christmas decoration shops. Clearly believing they have the blessing of The Lord Jesus Christ these little old ladies barge their way through the masses, desperate to purchase the most gaudy of decorations. There’s definitely some perverse pecking order going on in this predominantly Catholic part of India. Using their elbows as weapons these sinister old birds have complete disregard for the poor local children unfortunate enough to walk into their paths.

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Boo Hoo! India Is So Expensive!

I had one of the most ridiculous conversations with two yachties last week. The couple were complaining that India was really expensive. Incredulous I responded by arguing that food here is so cheap one can eat out at a restaurant for a quid. Quite frankly these Moaning Myrtles really get on my wick. Ready for a rant?

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Mumbai: A Photographic Feast!

Liz and I have always romanticised with the idea of sailing into a city. Sydney and Vancouver are two such examples but we never thought we’d get a thrill from sailing into Mumbai, the state capital of the Maharashtra region of central India. This truly is a cosmopolitan city and if you have never been then don’t even begin to conjure up preconceptions of this place, they’ll come nowhere near to the real thing! Mumbai is an assault on the senses; it very quickly became one of my fave cities ever visited, proof of which are the many photographs featured in this extravaganza of a blog post. We have photographs galore! In a departure to the usual ‘inline’ photographs that illustrate my narrative, I have instead put together some slide-shows: the images are bigger and there are more of them! Prepare to be dazzled…

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Welcome to India: T-bone Anyone?

Imagine our pride at having sailed over 4,000 miles, unassisted, without incident and without a scratch to Esper. I haven’t mentioned that our autopilot packed up early on in the Gulf of Aden, so many of the last 2,000 miles were hand-steered. That’s bloody hard work in case you didn’t know. Imagine, then, our horror when approaching the Indian coast, after our incident-free 4,000 miles, we were t-boned by the stupid dumb-ass Indian Navy!

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Travelling 4,000 Miles For This

You understand why we are doing this whole trip, don’t you? We’ve left the rat-race and are off to discover new places. Places that inspire and excite. Really we are looking for that perfect idyllic sea where no man can be seen for miles around. So imagine sailing 4,000 miles, only to discover this…

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Costing Oman And A Leg

Where the women are forced to wear black and their presence is absent from the streets. Welcome to Oman, a country that lives indoors in air conditioned buildings and drives around in air conditioned cars. Welcome to Oman, an expensive country boasting the most incredible beaches yet desperately lacking in soul. Read what I really think of this strange country…

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Pirate Alley: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Collisions, fishing nets, narrow escapes, exhaustion, arguments and tantrums. And that was just the first day! Sailing in convoy with fourteen other boats through the most dangerous waters in the world is enough to turn any sane man into a quivering wreck, excuse the pun. For some of us more conscientious sailors the Pirate Alley convoy was a living hell!

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Marina Wadiel Dome: Comedy Fun House

Once off the boat one then had to contend with the comedy pontoon, something taken straight out of the Fun House! Remember the moving staircase right by the Hall of Mirrors? That was our pontoon! As one walked down the pontoon so it tipped and dipped from side to side, and then there were the warps (lines) tied to the large motor boats that one had to climb over, further complicating the trip ashore.

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I Spoke Too Soon!

In my email round-up yesterday I joked about our pilot not turning up. Well guess what? It is now 07:30, two and a half hours after we were supposed to have departed, and he’s still not here. Oh, everyone else has gone, it’s just ‘Rhumb Do’ and ‘Esper’ left on the bloody dock because they couldn’t get enough pilots. Our departure date has been set to 10:00 instead. Hmmmm…

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Downtown Cairo

So, you’ve just paid a small fortune to enter the the Royal Mummy room at the Egyptian Museum, where you are asked to be quiet and not take photos. Your camera has been left outside the museum in a secure place because you are not allowed to bring it in. What do you do? You take out your phone and flash away at these ancient mummified people, who are kept at carefully regulated moisture, temperature and lighting levels to stop them decomposing. You are an idiot.

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Ungrateful Suez Canal Pilots

He ripped open the parcel, threw aside the t-shirt, scattered the other goods across the deck and tore open the envelope containing the money. The next half an hour was spent listening to this whinging, ungrateful shit complain about his present.

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Bribing The Wrong Person

A very angry Arabic marina manager started shouting in a way that only an angry Arabic-speaking official person can do. The pilot boat had to catch us up in order to drop off our pilot, Moussa, which is Egyptian for Moses. Biblical this man was not…

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The Crazy World Of The Boat Stig

I’m compelled to send you this quick text I received from a friend of ours who is a delivery skipper (a vastly underpaid job whereby the skipper takes on a huge responsibility to safely dispatch a vessel from one location to another). We’ll call him The Boat Stig. The Boat Stig was given the task of delivering a yacht from France to Turkey. That’s a bit of a boot, and this was a delivery skipper’s worst nightmare: the owner was on board.

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Veggie Wars

Pubs, beer and good paintbrushes vs good food, space and great climate. Which would you prefer? My extended trip back to the UK has been a real eye-opener but I frequently caught myself saying things like ‘it’s not like that in Turkey’. I can’t help it. I’ve made Turkey my temporary home but I’ve just spent a month back at my parents, in the bedroom I grew up in, and I quickly became British again. Now I’m returning to Turkey and I can’t help but compare and contrast. It’s an interesting exercise, but which is better? Turkey or England?

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