Nice Work If You Can Get It


New Delhi, India
October 06
I'm a writer with mad wanderlust and a burning desire to learn Hindi without paying for lessons. So far it's working. I love laughing, especially at myself.


Pennificent's Links
JUNE 2, 2009 6:56AM

Uncleji veggie wallah

Uncleji sells me fruit and vegetables in the market. He genuflects and raises his praying hands to his forehead every time he sees me know, and I always smile and namaste in return.

Today he is freshly shaven and has had a haircut. His bard-like do is cropped and neat, likely the… Read full post »

You can smell the sand in the air before you reach the ground. It's a silent sign that your descent is about finished and you'll be landing soon, so you'd best put away your books and headphones and get ready to disembark.

 Take a look around and notice the menagerie of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 28, 2009 1:56PM

Rural Indian road trip

Once in a while it's important to leave the city for more remote climes to remind yourself that not everyone is a slicker like yourself.

This weekend Meaghan and I did just that.

We piled into two cars with five of our friends and headed out past the city into the Uttar… Read full post »



I think it's my destiny to spend my days complicating the lives of straight women.

Last week I noticed something funny was going on with a friend of mine. I had a feeling I knew what was coming, but I so hoped I was wrong. The last time I'd seen her before… Read full post »

JANUARY 4, 2009 12:40PM

My first at bat

Cricket in India is a religion.

Regardless of caste, occupation, faith, or colour, if you're Indian, chances are you're obsessed.

I, being of white bread Canadian stock, have had little exposure to this illustrious game. Perhaps I've been indoctrinated by my own national obsession and see any sport tha… Read full post »

DECEMBER 29, 2008 1:03PM

New year, new mac, new job.

About a month ago some friends from Victoria, the city where I studied, dropped in on the embassy where I was working to pay a visit.

They weren't there to visit me, of course--it was more of an official stop-over, a business meeting between administrators from the school I attended and the… Read full post »

DECEMBER 17, 2008 8:46AM

Early morning yoga class

It's something I've wanted to do for years. Maybe since I became aware of the fact that a craze was even taking place in North America. Before stretchy pants were fashionable and it was okay to spend most of your life in spandex, I wanted to study yoga. I particularly wantedRead full post »

Many people have asked me over the course of the past week what it's been like to be a Westerner in India in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks. Honestly it's a difficult question to answer.


First I think it's important to contextualize my experience as a WesternerRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 29, 2008 4:13AM

Under Siege

When did this become normal?

Reports every six to eight weeks that a small group of "terrorists" had wreaked havoc on another city/locality in what's become my backyard.

Oh right, I forgot: it hasn't.

Despite India's sixty years of violent history asRead full post »

NOVEMBER 3, 2008 5:55AM

Diwali Firecrackers

Fireworks, however noisy, wasteful, and polluting, have become an integral part of Diwali celebrations.

And despite all my misgivings, I really like them.

For the few weeks leading up to Diwali, small roadside shops appear almost out of nowhere selling "crackers" as people call themRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 27, 2008 5:59AM

A night of festive gambling

"I'm so glad we're having this talk… here.

Meaghan and I are having a brief discussion on sexual relations with previous partners in our landlord's living room surrounded by his friends and family. We'd been invited downstairs earlier in the evening, but it's nowRead full post »

OCTOBER 25, 2008 2:05AM

Sometimes I really hate this town

Sometimes I really hate Delhi.

I loathe it to the depths of my soul.

Like when I'm stuck in the back of an auto that's negotiating the day's seemingly unending and inevitable traffic jam, inhaling god knows what toxins being spewed from the tailRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 24, 2008 4:25AM

Hasty Evacuations: Getting sick in Delhi

On Wednesday night I got sick.


Riotously, noisily, extravagantly ill.


The queasy feeling started in the afternoon, a low rumble somewhere in the lower regions of my gut that generally signals the beginnings of something bad. Meaghan and I were in Sarojini, our favourite market,Read full post »

OCTOBER 21, 2008 6:02AM

The simple act of looking

Last night I started to fret. I thought I'd run out of things to write about.

Can you believe that? I'm living in one of the most vibrant, sense-assaulting, morphing countries in the world and I thought I'd run out of things to write about.

Fear and writer's block can play funny… Read full post »

OCTOBER 17, 2008 3:07AM

The election no one wanted

There you have it, folks.

The snap election called by the right vulnerable Stephen Harper has come and gone.

You know, the election he sort of promised he wouldn't call.

And all he managed to squeeze out of it was another minority government.

Throughout the whole election campaign Harper maintained… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 7, 2008 7:47AM

Hindi 101

I've officially given in.

Despite earlier determinations to learn Hindi entirely on my own, I've chosen instead to hasten the process and take lessons. From now on, on Monday and Friday afternoons, Meaghan and I will get to hang out with Kapil for an hour orRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 28, 2008 7:29AM

X-rays and Filth

Thankfully, my back seems to be on the mend.


I had x-rays taken at the Aggarwal clinic near CP last weekend. The clinic was a stark contrast to Dr. Sethi's quiet office; where Dr. Sethi's was tidy and serene, the clinic was crowded and filthy.

 Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 20, 2008 12:40AM

Physio, $10.

I hurt myself playing soccer last weekend. My buddy Tony, a smallish British kid of Asian descent, decided at the same instant I did to make a dash for the ball, bringing my right shoulder and his left shoulder into the kind of union that makes onlookers cringe.

My spine between… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 13, 2008 3:53PM

Explosions in New Delhi

Moving from Canada to India means acknowledging an increased likelihood that your neighbourhood will be bombed.

The day my parents landed, bombs exploded in  Mumbai's busy rail system. I sat at my computer in Victoria, BC, a full 12.5 hours behind them, absorbing any update I could find to assur… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 11, 2008 5:54AM

Dear Delhi.

Dear Delhi,

I'm in no mood to deal with you today.

Did you hear that? No mood.

I have no patience for your heat. Don't tell me that today wasn't actually as hot as other days, nor was it as humid. My patience is thin regardless.

The men pissing against trees and walls and bushes… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 7, 2008 5:50AM

My other tuk tuk is a convertible.

Auto Driver and Friend, Convertible

There we stood, my sister and me (clearly not pictured here), laughing outside a Delhi nightclub. We'd spent the night dancing with a few friends—some Germans, a few Americans, Indians, a French woman—but a day of shopping in hot, sticky markets had gotten the better of us and we… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 3, 2008 2:55PM

Adventures in Sarojini, I

Trash Bins - HangingSometimes Sarojini is a place to waste an afternoon. Other times it's the source of the evening's perfect outfit or that last gift for your new friend's housewarming party. Like your average super mall, it has everything, only right now it's hotter, dirtier, and mostly outdoors.

Sarojini was… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 2, 2008 8:57AM

All the balloons money can buy.

I could see the light from car headlamps reflecting colours onto the street but I couldn't figure out where the colours were coming from. When I looked up from the sms ad my mobile phone was broadcasting they caught my eye: a boy of about five or six was standing in… Read full post »

AUGUST 31, 2008 2:03AM

Always looking out for me.

Four or five years ago I posed a question of my sister.

I asked her, "Meaghan, how would you feel if I brought a girlfriend home for Christmas dinner?"

At the time she said it would be very weird. I remember being disappointed but not entirely surprised; most of my… Read full post »

AUGUST 26, 2008 7:55AM

Precious Cargo

I'm excited. Really excited. And a little scared.

In twenty-four hours, quite possibly the funniest person I know will descend on Delhi and the two of us will embark on what could be the adventure of a lifetime.

Her name is Meaghan, and she's my baby… Read full post »