Happy Onam

11Sep19

Onam 2019

Once again, it is the time to celebrate Onam,  the beloved harvest festival of the southern Indian state of Kerala. Though the festival is fervently celebrated by the Malayali diaspora across the world, celebrations have been muted in respect to the tragic Kerala floods since 2018. To know more about the story of Onam and its activities, visit here.

 


gsdk6

I have returned from my self imposed hibernation deeply frustrated by the lack of reliable information on how to navigate through the basic government procedure. Majority of the expat population is from the Indian subcontinent and even the educated among them struggle when communicating in local language. Arab expats certainly has an advantage. It is disappointing that the country that was in the forefront of many technological and cultural advancements are now lagging far behind their regional counterparts.  While I do agree that it is necessary for one to learn the local language of any country they are residing, I wish the government would make it easier for expats to serve themselves. A digital revolution is needed to revamp the outdated government websites and reduce parasitic middlemen.

Till then we have to rely on good samaritians to guide us to though the sludge. Look out posts marked with the above banner.


IMG_4329

Now that I settled into a new home, it is time to carve out a nook for my stuff. I have been having this old Lego set, with me which I was yet to open. This is my first ever lego set, the #75015 Star War Corporate Alliance Tank Droid.  It is a 2013 model, now retired. It costed Rs2800 in India (which was twice the US price) but now I can find the same model selling for Rs7000+. Quite the appreciation.

Read on..


chicken cut parts

I, by my own admission, am an average cook. By that I mean I won’t impress you with my culinary skills but I can whip up something to satiate my hunger pangs. Chicken curry has become the staple since it is easy to make. Initially I used to buy from the local poultry shops where they cut it up as per my requirements. Being in the supermarket era, the ease of getting everything under one roof was tempting. I moved into only “breast” phase; yes, I’m still talking about chickens.  But once I moved to Kuwait, I found out frozen whole chicken don’t come pre-cut. So as a “millennial” I used the internet and found this video by Gordon Ramsay. Watch this one if you want to remove the skin first. Also I came across this funny old video, “How to Debone a Chicken in 18seconds?” by Master Chef Martin Yan. His ‘Yan can Cook‘ tv show was most likely the first cooking show I saw back when it was on KTV2. He is still funny.


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I am moving into a new flat and one of the things on the checklist is getting a phone number. Here in Kuwait, the local calls are free for an annual charge of KWD 30; other services cost extra. Also, you need a telephone connection in order to apply for internet from an ISP. I have been getting different informations about the procedure and the Ministry of Communication staff are not known for their assistance. I heard, since a lot of new tall buildings popping up, there are many pending requests for new telephone connection and it could take a while to get one. Hence I decided to transfer the existing connection from the previous owner. Here is what to do:

Read on..


Bank Notes

09Nov16

Kuwait Dinar note

This is quite the coincidence. Yesterday I was clearing my bookmarks when I found a old link that I had marked. I thought of posting about it the next day. Yesterday evening the Indian Prime Minister surprised the nation by declaring that the INR 500 and INR 1000 notes are demonetized.

Banknotes have high quality images of currency notes including discontinued notes of most countries. Also some of the notes feature a back story which can be a interesting read. If you are notaphilist, this site offers you much more including sale and appraisal of your notes. I chose the new Kuwait one Dinar note as the featured image in this post.


kuwait-airways-bird

It is my time to bid adieu to Bangalore as I am moving to Kuwait. I booked my tickets on Kuwait Airways since it is the only direct flight from Bangalore; they offer 46kg baggage, blessing for someone with lot to haul. So after downing my last cup of overpriced hatti kappi, I pushed my trolley to check-in to a very long queue; due to some technical difficulties only one system was working. After what seemed to be an eternity, everyone boarded the plane and the captain promised to make it up by reaching Kuwait on time.
Read on..


Mi powerbank
On their 2nd anniversary, Xiaomi restocked their sold out products and I bought couple of their power banks for friends staying abroad. It got delivered within 48hrs which is pretty quick especially when they had a lot of orders. The smaller 10K is light, fits in your jeans and looks very elegant. Here are detailed reviews for the 20000mAh and 10000mAh.


N for Nougat

01Jul16

Android Nougat

In one of my earlier post, I mentioned I was expecting ‘N’ would be named nonpareils though I was rooting for ‘Neyyappam’. Google, in their finite wisdom of naming their Android OS with names of sweet treats, has announced the latest version Android N will be “Nougat.”


PNY power bank

I never needed a power banks. They are too large, charge my device slowly and I never remember to take them when I go out. Truth be told, I don’t mind when my phone runs out of charge and get disconnected  from the world. But for my trip to Sweden, I decided to get one just in case I get stranded somewhere. I chose the PNY BE740 (10400mAh capacity) after recommendations from a friend (even though some reviews in Amazon.in said that the device could catch fire while charging).

This is my review after 6 months usage. As hoped,there was no fireworks. The devices worked perfectly in temperatures ranging from -10 to +30 Celsius. The branding fades off, so does the pearl white sheen. The BE-740’s slender form factor and ‘kidney bean’ cross section makes it a good fit in the hand; the dimple on the spine gives an extra grip. The only button is encircled by a shade of blue, similar to the SRK’s futuristic Ra-one body armour and give an elegant look. Single-click lights up the battery indicators and a double-click turns on/off the torch (which is not LED). But the best part is the the 2.1A output which juices my phone faster than the charger bundled with it. Oh yea, it feels heavy and bulky but I would still recommend it.