Tag Archives: india

how do u spend the time

9 Nov

london 9.37pm 11.2C rain friday 2018

i wonder how people are spending their time now wherever they live.

perhaps in india they are celebrating the diwali. it lasts 5 days and i have been reading blogs about it. also the news that delhi woke up today to a huge smog over the city, due to the fireworks and also field burning. they have a ban on fireworks but of course it is difficult to enforce it. and there is a lot of burning of oil lamps too. but i hope the pollution wont dampen people’s enjoyment of this festival.

i think this festival is more celebrated in the north , rather than south of india. most of the migrants to malaysia come from the south, and i think thaipusam is a bigger thing in south india and hence in malaysia.  from what i see of the blogs talking about diwali, (malaysians call it deepavali which i think is a south indian term), the highlight is the huge variety of sweets that come out specially  at this time.

i met someone at the library today who told me she will be going to malaysia for a month in february. she said it had been a long time since we saw each other. i thought she was a homeless person, but i must be wrong , if she can afford the flight to malaysia. and it seems she goes to penang often. she will spend all that month in penang. when i ask her what is it about penang she likes, she said it is the people. i forgot to ask her to elaborate.

here in london there is the upcoming weekend, when they celebrate remembrance sunday… it is the 100th anniversary of the first world war. but this affair is not accompanied by feasting, so there is no mass adverts of food. most of the adverts now are christmas related, in anticipation of that day and softening us up for that. i think there are very few who are alive to remember that first world war. even for the 2nd world war, there must be  dwindling numbers who have lived through it. 

cashless society and drab black clothes

11 Dec

london 5.56am 6.6C dry. sunday 2016

ever wondered what it is like to be a cashless society? well, india is going to show you. govt is trying to force people to go cashless. trouble is it has not got the infrastructure set up for it. unlike here in uk, where most people got some kind of card that can let them pay small sums of money without needing identification. once the buses and tubes show the way, it makes people familiar with how it works and become more willing to try it for other transactions. even so, there will be people like me who resist going cashless. and fortunately for me, the govt is willing to give us the choice. in india you dont have the choice. as seen in this article about goa fish sellers, who are losing out because their customers dont have cash.

then there is this article about london’s hotels fully booked for christmas and new year. the tourists like coming to uk, because the low £ make their money go a long way. usually christmas is a quiet time for hotels, nothing is opened on christmas day so tourists avoid that. butnot this year it seems. though what are they going to do during the christmas period? that period between christmas and the new year. this year christmas falls on a sunday… i wonder how are people going to go to the church services as there will be no public transport. it might mean people will just walk to their local churches and leave st paul’s, and westminster cathedral empty … haha. 

i was on the bus along regent st yesterday around 1pm, and the pavement was absolutely crowded with people. but they were not carrying shopping bags. in the past, u see such crowds and many of them will be carrying many  colourful shopping bags . this time you can see a sea of black, as so many of them wear black clothing…and seemingly not a colourful shopping bag in sight to relieve that sea of black;  and all those black clothing, quite drab looking ones at that, which is in such stark contrast to the clothes u see in the shop windows.

oh i just have a thought, now we have to pay for our shopping bags in the supermarkets, does that policy extend to clothes shops and they are charging? that might account for no shopping bags seen. people are just putting all their purchases in their backpacks or in just one bag.

i was wondering how come all these shoppers are not dressed nicer? if people are buying all those clothes we see hanging in the shop windows, how come none of them are wearing them out in the street? are they saving those fancy clothes for special occasions only? 

business competition

9 Aug


london 8.35am 14.3C sunny tuesday 2016

happened to come across this post about the impact on ola, the biggest ride sharing company in india in its fight for supremacy with uber , in the light of didi china buying uber china. it has been a big change in taxi services… i think allready in uk mini cabs firms will be vanishing. so that business i think will be gone , another victim of technology. maybe even courier services firms too will go. uber can do it all.

and it is also an opportunity for people to build their businesses on it. for eg, a takeaway offering to deliver using uber drivers, rather than maintain their own fleet of riders. though i would imagine what might drive these takeaways to use uber will be  that they might find no one wanting to work exclusively  for them when they can do so with uber and get access to a wider range of clients. 

added. 9.01am saw this post by a user of both ola and uber in chennai and bangalore. seems that uber is providing incentives to ola drivers to change to them. reading the comments, what one person there said is true, each company is trying to drive the other out of business, and so giving huge incentives to drivers and riders. it will all go when they merge… as they did in china. that merger in china means the drivers and customers will not get such a good deal and prices may rise now that there is no competition.

a smartphone for 251rupees

17 Feb

london 11.41am wednesday 2016 9C cloudy

this is in india, ringing bells, are selling it, from thursday , (which is today, as india is one day ahead of us). it is about £2.50.

Here’s the spec sheet for Freedom 251 model

Display – 4.00-inch

Resolution- 540×960 pixels

Processor – 1.3GHz


OS – Android 5.1

Storage – 8GB+ 32 expandable

Rear Camera – 3.2-megapixel

Front Camera – 0.3-megapixel

Battery capacity – 1450mAh

why is this phone not being offered to us in uk? it seems the original photo they featured is not the picture of the phone. the real look is shown here. does not look as slick, but still it is cheap.

they are saying it has got to be subsidised by the indian govt to cost so little. its performance may not be all that fast. but still, such a phone will get everyone on board the smartphone train.

what did they always tell us, if the deal is too good to be true, it is. this one might be a scam. 



indian visa

27 Jan

london 11.30am 13.8C cloudy/rain on and off. wednesday 2016

i have been getting emails from my friend about his woes with getting the indian visa he needs if he is to go to india on 1feb. he allready bought the ticket. costing £644 rtn. he wants to go to goa and have to go to mumbai first before changing planes to goa. but as usual, i find when i go looking for flights i can find rtn fares of about £460 or so. with air india. so i know it is just him, he is quite hopeless at finding cheap fares on the internet. and so it proves the same with applying for a electronic visa online. he could not find the button to pay for it, nor even where he is to send his passport. or whether he can send a photostat copy or photograph of his passport… it is not clear. i had a look at the page for the eticket. it looks straightforward, send a photo of the passport page, 


Step 1

Apply online

Upload Photo and Passport Page

Step 2

Pay visa fee onlineUsing Credit / Debit card

Step 3

Receive eTV Online

eTV Will be sent to your e-mail

Step 4

Fly To India

Print eTV and carry at the time


looks straightforward, so dont know how he can fuck it up. haha. i think it is because he does not follow the instructions carefully. it is a common fault of people, esp old people. i think. and especially my friend. he is very careless about it, laughing it off when i point it out to him. i think his soul wants it. it wants to make his life difficult. many times i have seen him do things that makes his life difficult. 

personally i think he should have just come to london and go to theindian embassy at the strand and get it done by hand. it is not too late, otherwise he might have to not go at all and lose the money for the ticket as it is non refundable. some of it is his own fault, i think. other bits is his ignorance of how these online application work out. on the other hand, it might well be his fxxking soul does not want him to go to india. 

added. 9.27pm wednesday 2016 i got an email from him saying he has tried again with a third party, and they charged him £82. it costs £39. ah well, old people really are so hopeless. they just have to pay more to get some third party to help. no one is going to help u for free. i suppose if he does end up getting his visa because of their help it will be ok, as he is incapable of doing it on his own. i think it will be real funny if this third party is a scam and it has taken his money and he still dont get the visa. haha. i would not put it past that soul of his. it is a real trouble maker that soul of his. 

 its terrible to be old and not know how to work the internet. another reason that it sucks to be old. 

update 4.44pm thursday  10.3C cloudy. 28.1.16 he wrote me saying he got the visa. so he is all set to go on 1feb. well, i am glad for him. but that soul of his really wants to make him jump through hoops and squeeze him with costs to pay to get a visa which normally would be very easy to get… he gave me the breakdown of the cost.

Visa £39
Service fee £35
VAT £7

ah well, at least he got that visa.

cheap smartphones in india

20 Jan

london 10.02am 3.3C wednesday 2016 sun/cloud yesterday high of 5C , low -1C.

when i saw those refugees in europe using smartphones, i thought how come they can afford them, but looking at this post , about a smartphone company selling it for £24, £30 and giving 1 yr free internet… makes me realise that in the rest of the world, smartphones are cheap.

it is only in uk that they keep it expensive. i bet there is some close shop practises going on in uk. prices are kept inflated just because people here are very willing to pay high prices if u bundle it up with free internet call plans. there are too many people here who are willing to skimp on other things rather than skimp on a smartphone. whereas in india, there are too many poor people and they have to bring the prices down to attract them into the smartphone market. 

i remember a long time ago when mobile phones were the rage, ( that was a long time ago wasn’t it? haha) and i was in malaysia and was able to buy a nokia mobile phone for 100ringgit ,  £17 at that time. i am still using it .

that was considered cheap , because in the uk it was much more then. but now of course, u can get such a phone here in uk for that amount . the market has now shifted to  smartphones, and they are still very expensive.

so i wonder when we in uk will be able to get smartphones for £25 without being tied to a 24month calling plan contract. in india they can. and with the free internet, people can get whatsapp and use that to contact friends and family. it seems to me the rest of the world have got cheap smartphones, but europe and uk are still stuck with expensive ones. i wonder if the eu is deliberately stopping the cheap phones from coming in. it would lead to loss of jobs in all those businesses selling smartphones and their call plans. 

they were unable to stop cheap steel from coming in, and that has led to a loss of jobs with steel plants closing in uk… 

free internet suspended in egypt

31 Dec

london 8.35am 8.9C sunny thursday 2015 new year eve.

mark zurkerberg’s facebook’s limited internet with free data for smartphone users has been cancelled in egypt. so that is another country stopping him and poor people from getting a free internet. india stopped him too.

seems to me egypt is afraid of a lot of dissenters getting online if this free internet is available. a lot of countries will be afraid of it happening.

as it is, the arab spring has been catapulted into effective action by a lot of people  able to communicate with each other via facebook or twitter. it was mainly the middle classes as they can afford the data plans. in egypt the middle classes  thought they can get rid of a dictator, mubarak, and replace him with democracy… but to their surprise they found an even more extreme party , the muslim brotherhood got into power.  and the middle classes found they have jumped out of the pan and got themselves into the fire.

if u give free internet access to the poor, than it wont only be the middle classes that can get organised, the poor can too… and that frightens governments. just imagine what the poor can get into once they can use the internet to mobilise their numbers… it goes to show how important zurkerbergs free internet is, and for that reason the govts will oppose it. they will never allow the poor a say at all… 

free internet, or rather limited internet with free data.

28 Dec

london 9.03pm 12.4C monday 2015

mark zuckerberg’s free internet in india is being opposed, because they say it is contravening the ruling that internet must not discriminate.

so his limited internet free service in india is discriminatory and is suspended pending a ruling from the authorities . he argues here that his limited internet service is like the library and nhs hospital free service like in uk.

 here in uk we get free wifi that allows us to get onto the internet free, but that is because we are  potential customers for services and goods that advertisers wish to sell to us. hence the so called ‘free’ wifi is subsidised by advertising or data collecting. this doesnot apply in india where those who will benefit from a free internet are too poor to buy the services.

i think there are people who wont want his free internet available for the poor. it would be direct competition for their paid internet services. and this free internet would be free of advertising too. so i think they would use this excuse of a equal internet to kill this.

(on the other hand, it is linked to facebook. i think we can accept his assurance that it wont be biased to facebook business… though the data collected will be useful to it to gain information on what the poor search for. but a lot of people would be wary of allowing facebook and zuckerberg more influence and control over that free internet. also, it limits what can be accessed. that is something i am not happy about too. why not give these poor people the same freedom to access all parts of the internet?

philantropy does a lot of good, i mean just look at the peabody estate, that provide affordable housing to so many in london now. they were originally built to house poor people. so free internet will be very good for the poor in india. but it is limited.

maybe he thought that if it is unlimited access he will get a lot of opposition to it by businesses and be criticised for being uncompetitive, as it will certainly kill the private businesses that provide the paid -for internet. 

 it will encroach on those private businesses that provide internet as a business. who would want to subscribe to them if u can get free internet? only the fact that it is limited will stop it being so popular it kills all competition. even the rich will take advantage of the free internet with unlimited access if it is there.

but if u take london as a example, we have free internet now,

( why are they allowed to provide it without being accused of killing competition and creating an unequal internet, i wonder? oh, hang on i know why. because to access it via the smartphone still requires u to pay for the data, it is only if u use your laptop on wifi that u dont have to pay for it. what puzzles me is why people want to use their smartphone to do it when they have to pay for the data. why dont they use the laptop like i do? hmm, i dont do it that much, because it is bulky and inconvenient to carry around a laptop. so maybe that is why. )

in india it seems 90% gain access to the internet via a smartphone.

but here in uk people still subscribe to getting broadband at home… why? you would think with everyone using a smartphone to gain internet access why bother with paying again for broadband at home. right?

i mean i am subscribed to talktalk, even i who use the library free wifi… why do i do it;? because it is convenient, and my home broadband do not  restrict X rated websites, and also it is linked to high definition tv and tv on demand , something that i could not get if i dont have broadband… and now they have linked it to smartphones. with talk talk giving me a free mobile sim.

i can see why if i were in india, and have only a smartphone, it would be really nice to have a free internet without having to pay for the data, even if it is a limited access. it is better than nothing. it is all very well for those rich people and well meaning people to say net neutrality or none at all… but they are preventing me from getting free internet data and use of my smartphone without having to pay the earth for data. and personally i would not mind if facebook or zuckerberg gains from it. so what… good luck to him if he does find something out of it and make money out of it. 

it is difficult to see what will happen in future. we in uk got free internet access from the  public libraries, starbucks and other businesses, that provide free wifi.

in india, this is not happening, that is why zuckerberg is doing this free interet thing.

but is free internet access that crucial? right now indians are using their mobiles for doing business. that uptake is huge and is overiding the lack of landlines phones. they have jumped from landline phones straight to mobiles. and they dont use smart phone technology. the mobile with voice calls and text seem to be able to support businesses. my mistake there that is why i rule it out.

how useful is the internet for business? maybe those who can afford the internet will be the ones who are good customers… and so it will self select the group. anyone who cannot afford the internet are not good customers anyway. it would be rather bad for them,individually,  but they wont affect the businesses.

maybe those poor people can get to log onto free wifi from starbucks and other coffee shops or malls? but a laptop or smartphone is expensive, so how is the poor person going to afford that? it seems they all can afford a smartphone. i think smartphones are really cheap in india. if he can, than he can well afford to pay for the internet. for really free access, india will have to use its public libraries to provide the computer and the wifi … that way it is really free, as u dont need to buy a computer at all as u can use the library computers. this is what is happening in uk, where all the library computers and wifi is free to use, if u are a member and practically anyone can be a member for free. the only ones not able to use it are homeless people with no address… and that might be the biggest drawback in india too. 

well, i was thinking of myself and wondering if that is what a poor person in india would relate to. i dont really need to pay a monthly premium for a mobile. a pay as i go sim is good enought. and i dont need a smartphone either.  so i imagine poor people in india dont really need it either. as long as they can steal a wifi signal or get online from public bodies , they should be able to access the internet for normal use. realise it is wrong. they all have smartphones and no one have laptops. that is why things are not the same in india. i hope the free limited internet with free data will be re-installed in india, but i think if it does not then maybe there might be another and  better solution to be found in india in future to get all  people to gain access to the internet.

Free Basics, part of Facebook’s Internet.org campaign, offers a selection of basic apps including travel, weather and news, to smartphone users in developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Through a deal between Facebook and local mobile operators, the data to access those services is free. link

added. 9.2.16 tuesday 2016. india has confirmed it will stop his free internet. i think it is a pity, the poor will be discriminated against, but then in india since when have the poor ever not been discriminated against?? no one in govt speaks out for the poor, that is why the govt can stop anything like this.

but i think, if u look at it in a purely logical way, u will come to the conclusion that it pays to keep a poor mass of people in place in any society , they provide a pool of cheap labour, that will allow everyone else to live well. they perform the role of slaves in ancient society. 


17 Dec

london 10.43am 15.6C (so warm!) thursday 2015

this morning on my way to the library i went into the victoria coach station to get a free copy of today’s metro, and i saw a table all laid out, with a board saying draw for a £500 voucher from megabus. they were doing a promotion.

but also there were coffee cups there saying get your free coffee!! well that made me take notice so i went over and found out it was a megabus promotion.

well i know of them and have used their £1 fare to bournemouth. that is a real bargain. though interestingly enough in their leaflet there was no mention of the bournemouth service from and to london. this is because there is no bus service but it has a train service which is a better service, as it is only 2 hours instead of 3 by bus. but they dont advertise that one. instead they advertise their services to france, germany etc. if that is all for £1 i dont quite see how they will make money unless of course they only reserve a limited number of seats at £1 and the rest at usual prices. anyway i got my coffee and am now in the library enjoying it whilst i am surfing the internet. haha.

i told some of the people there about the free coffee. and this man who had been there often, came over to me and showed me his smartphone and asked me how to get rid of the logo which says other services. i said why do u want to do that? clicking onto it i saw a button saying connect to wifi so i told him u could use that to connect to the library wifi and u can get online free and surf the net. so i did it for him, and found he gets connected straightaway without asking for registration. that is strange but maybe smartphone users can do that. later i asked him has he got online, and he said no. so i checked and found he does need to register.

he is still doing it now. because he got a really long email address. one of the silly mistakes people make, he was using his name and boy he is from africa with a long name. and typing all that in a small smartphone screen is murder. so i told him next time if there is a next time use a short email address. haha. another person, a lady asked me how to get onto the library wifi so i told her. and she got it quickly.

that guy is still doing it, writinghis long email address. so i told him write any address, they dont really check. but he does not believe me. haha. i dont think he got online even now. haha. well, he illustrates the old saying u can bring a horse to water but u cannot make him drink. haha. u can shove a smartphone on someone but he still have to learn to use it.

usually there is a leaflet on the desk telling people how to do it, get online in the library. but there is none today.

it is so easy to be connected to the web in london, but i realise it is not so easy elsewhere, esp in india. i read an article about wifi and internet in india and how google and android are trying to get everyone connected . google introduced android one, supposed to be a cheap smartphone so everyone can get connected but it is not doing well. no one is buying it. it seems.

they say the reason might be that it is 2G and not 4G, but i think it is just people being suspicious that if it is so cheap it cannot be that good. in india where people cant even get a signal, to talk of taking 4G instead of 2G is laughable. i wish google will sell those phones here in uk. i would buy them. a smartphone for £25 would be a god send . here u can get a free smartphone but u have to shackle yourself to a monthly pay plan, for 2yrs. not really free.

and now i got a free mobile sim from talktalk,i dont mind a cheap smartphone.  i recently got an email to confirm my order, i am hoping to get the sim delivered in a few days. ( i made the order on 1.12.15 but i never got an email confirming it, that is why i did not receive the sim. so that i had to go back to their customer services to ask them, and to reorder. ) they even sent me my mobile phone number on that sim, and it is very easy to remember , so i shall keep it rather than change it.

added 12.47pm there is a voucher from burgerking for £2 king burger and bacon double cheese burger plus fries. i am tempted.  not often u get these discount vouchers from burgerking. most times, it is macdonalds. 

today is saturday

7 Mar


it used to be saturday was a special day as it is the weekend, and that means no work and lots of fun. not anymore to me, as once you stop work, it becomes just another day. but now and then i get reminded that it is a weekend, and people are relaxing and thinking of other things than work.

maybe they are thinking of holidays. john my friend in poole has come back from his month’s stay in south india, on his holiday there. he spent about £1400 for accommodation etc  plus £700 for flight. quite a lot to spend for a month (and it is the shortest month of the year too, february) when u consider india is supposed to be cheap, and the rupee is weak. but i think all indians know every tourist is rich, how else is he able to fly there, pay the visa, unless he has money? so just triple the price of everything to him. haha.

it was his first time there in contrast to the many times he had holidayed in thailand.

talking of thailand, reminds me of that tv program about people who want to leave uk to live in tropical places. last night it was the turn of two gay guys who want to open a B&B in khanom, south thailand. at first i thought they were rice queens and know thailand well, but it seems one of them just got it in his head to go there. both have never been to thailand. it makes me wonder if it is just a made up show for tv. just find a gay couple and give them the brief, one of them was said to earn £65,000 a year living in sussex and commuting to london to work. he is 50. makes u wonder that it is a made up tv program. who in his right mind would leave such a job to go open a B&B in thailand.? hahah.

I know a friend who have gone to live in thailand but to  retire. and only because he is gay and have no ties back in uk. he is divorced, and have kids but we all know that once divorced, the father has little to do with the kids, but pay maintainance. in his case, i think his kids are grown up so no maintainance. i have a feeling they waited till the kids have grown up and he retired before they seek a divorce.

 he got £2000 a month from his pension, and so he lives like a king in thailand on that, and dont have to work. that is more believable. haha.

anyway, after all the difficulties and setbacks, in their one week in thailand, these two in the tv program, decided their final verdict is that they will move to thailand. quite unbelievable really. unless there is something we were not told. it was the last of the series, too.

recently, i got chatting to a indian couple from bangalore, from the gay website, and asked him about his life in india, now that the recent law makes  it illegal to be gay there. he said it is difficult, but he will continue to live a gay life.

even before this law, people in india have been very closetted about being gay. it is not accepted by the majority. perhaps i am wrong, and there are many openly gay guys there, but if there are i did not meet them when i was visiting there. now it just means they have to remain in the closet and live an underground gay life. well, it is not such a bad thing, after all, in uk, before the gay liberation , gays were living a underground life, and many still think those were the best years of their life. haha. now the world is too knowing about gay things.

well when i pointed this out to him, he replied it is a compromise, and like going back to the 90’s… true, but gays in india have to accept reality, and reality is a law that says it is illegal to be gay. so adapt, which we humans are very good at. and life can be just as good. if not better.

oh, i met a german guy from a naturist website. he is visiting london and so we met. he lives in berlin, and is a journalist working from home.

he says berlin is so much cheaper than london. he says he has friends here he can stay with and used to live in london and have friends here which his 1week in london is full with things he is doing with them. he is booked. he was in scotland earlier.

i dont find it expensive to live in london, but maybe it is because i dont like eating out, nor drinking coffee in coffee shops. he was comparing the coffee he bought, in cafe nero, which i suggested we meet at with coffee in berlin.  he said it is cheaper to rent accommodation in berlin.

and he said there are so many naturist places in and around berlin that he can go to ( because he said the east germans are very easy about naturism, not so much the west germans.)and even though winters in berlin can be -20C , though he said for the last two winters it has been very mild, the summers can be 30C.

interestingly he said they tried to do a naked bike ride in berlin, but the police came and broke it up so there is no naked bike ride in berlin. he said it is very strange that, as anywhere else u can be naked. all the beaches on the lakes he said have mixed naked places , there are no segregated naked beaches as such, and everyone mix with naked and clothed people and no one says anything.

added. just remembered the £ is strong now. £1=1.39euros. so that might explain why he finds it expensive in london. 

added.11.3.15 they are going to make it more difficult to apply for a visa to visit india. 

Applications must begin online at in.vfsglobal.co.uk. You must fill in and then print the application, sign it, attach a photo (to some exact specifications – consider investing in professional passport pictures) and hand in the application. You also have to pay a fee of £89.44, even if you are rejected.

At present, an immediate relative can submit a form – which means for a married couple, only one partner need apply. From next Monday everyone who wants to go to India will need to attend an office, as biometric checks of your fingerprints and face begin.