Monday, 30 June 2008

Saterdagaande by die see








My en die kinders se eerste dag in Chennai was 'n Saterdag. Japie was gretig om vir ons al die lekker plekke van Chennai te wys en het ons vir aandete na 'n klein restaurant op Elliot's Beach geneem. Ons het almal dadelik verlief geraak op Elliot's beach en gaan steeds gereeld Saterdagaande daarheen. Ons en die res van Chennai. Miskien is dit deel van die magic atmosfeer wat daar heers. Almal ontvlug van die stad se hitte en kom stap, sit of speel langs die see. Vir die kinders is daar hope vermaak. Kite vlieg, handgedrewe mallemeules (kyk die ou in die middel op die foto wat die slinger draai !), skyfskiet na ballonne (geen health en safety hier nie, so mens moet maar koes), en mense wat allerhande ballone verkoop. 'n Rit op die mallemeule kos 10p en 'n kite 25p so dis boonop 'n lekker goedkoop uitstappie. Ons het vinnig geleer mens moenie te ver na die regterkant van die strand stap nie - dis waar die slums is en mens loop jou daar vas in die see toilet/wassery - dis after all Indie die !

Op die strand is daar talle eetstalletjies (sien foto), maar ons was nog nie braaf genoeg om daar te eet nie. Na die pret by die see, stap ons altyd oor die straat na Mash. Daar bestel die kinders slap tjips gedoop in heuning (nogals 'n lekker kombinasie !) en aarbei milkshake. Ek en Japie eet gewoonlik calamari en een of ander mocktail - helaas geen bier. Vanaf Mash se stoepie kan ons dan lekker die gewoel verder dophou.

Ons was een keer in die oggend op Elliot's beach, maar die strand was amper heeltemal verlate (foto). Gelukkig kon ons steeds iets koels gaan drink het by Mash.


Thursday, 26 June 2008

Om te vlieg in Indie...... of nie ?

Artikel uit vanoggend se Times of India !!! Regtig.

Plane overshoots Mumbai as both pilots go to sleep
26 Jun 2008, 0049 hrs IST, Manju V,TNN

MUMBAI: An Air India Jaipur-Mumbai flight flew well past its destination with both its pilots fatigued and fast asleep in the cockpit. When the pilots were finally woken up by anxious Mumbai air traffic controllers, the plane was about half way to Goa.

This nap in the sky took place about a fortnight ago on the domestic leg of a Dubai-Jaipur-Mumbai flight — IC 612 — which had about 100 passengers on board. "The plane took off from Dubai at 1.35am IST and then from Jaipur at 7am. After operating an overnight flight, fatigue levels peak, and so the pilots dozed off after taking off from Jaipur," said a source.

The flight schedules of pilots prior to this flight is not known.

The aircraft was supposed to take the A 474 South route — a designated route to Mumbai — and since it was on autopilot, it headed in that direction. "It was only after the aircraft reached Mumbai airspace that air traffic controllers realized it was not responding to any instructions and was carrying on on its own course," said the source.

Said an air traffic controller: "The aircraft should have begun its descent about 100 miles from Mumbai, but here it was still at cruising altitude. We checked for hijack and when there was no response we made a SELCAL (selective calling)."

Every aircraft has its own exclusive code. When the ATC uses this high frequency communication system — which it does very rarely and only when other communication draws a blank — a buzzer sounds in the cockpit. Jolted by the sound of the SELCAL buzzer, the pilots woke up and brought the plane back to Mumbai safely.

Kanu Gohain, directorate general of civil aviation, was not available for comment. Contacted for its version on Wednesday evening, Jitendra Bhargava, director, public relations of Air India, said, "The director, operations, is getting information on the matter."

'Aircraft had communications failure'

General manager, Mumbai aerodrome, M G Junghare, denied that the pilots were asleep behind the control column. "The aircraft had a radio communications failure and so could not be contacted. It had gone only 10 or 15 miles off Mumbai and after we ascertained that it was not hijacked we made the SELCAL," he said.

Commanders, however, pooh-poohed this claim and said the lapse was being hushed up. "There is a strict procedure which is followed during a radio communications failure whereby the aircraft should have descended to a holding point. Instead, it flew over Mumbai. Also, every flight has an Expected Time of Arrival (ETA), so why did it not begin its descent even after crossing its ETA?" argued a check pilot.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Hello, tell me !

After being out of station for a few weeks, we are starting to enjoy life in Chennai again. It was sad to leave all our near and dear in SA, but already in our first week back so many interesting things have happened. Things with our car and driver have gone for a toss. First there was the flat tyre and the stepney that was also flat. Then the driver got sick - in hospital. Japie enjoyed seeing his co-brother and later in the week went to a wake of someone that expired. Friday evening we went out for dinner with a issueless couple, well actually the wife is carrying. With an extra person in the house, they are thinking of shifting. I told them a backside is a must, I miss having a backside where the children can play. Today I phoned the ac guy to come and fix the ac - first he wanted to know my good name and our landmark, then he had a few doubts, but he said he would be coming today. Well, just going to get myself a tiffen and then off to pick up the children.

Baie van julle vra of ons leer Hindi praat. Hier in Tamil Nadu praat die mense nie eintlik Hindi nie, so ek het besluit dit gaan my nie veel help om te leer nie. Die mense hier praat Tamil, maar ongelukkig word Tamil nie in ander dele van die land gepraat nie. Ek ken al so paar woorde Tamil, maar is ook nie lus om dit te leer vir net 2 jaar se gebruik nie. Te lui. Nou spits ek my maar toe op Hinglish !! Volgens taalkenners is dit die Engels van die toekoms !

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Terug in Chennai

Terug in Chennai - home, sweet, home..... nog nie.
Soos gewoonlik was ons SA vakansie baie lekker - kuier saam met Oupas en Oumas, niggies en nefies, vriende, snoek eet , braaivleis, stap na die Eerste Rivier, olifante kyk in Addo en inhaal op al die SA stories. Die enigste bietjie sleg was dat ek en die kinders (wat nooit in Indie 'n Dehli belly gehad het nie) die een na die ander siek geword het met 'n vreeslike maag en al die Salta's ook aangesteek het ! Terug het Japie vir 'n slag saam met my en die kinders gevlieg. Die kinders was baie soet, maar Japie het my baie probleme gegee. Eers het hy siek geword van slaai eet op die vliegtuig (wie eet nou ooit die pap slaai wat bedien word ?), daarna vergeet hy ons paspoorte in die vliegtuig met die oorklim by Dubai ! Ons moes toe omtrent vir 'n uur saam met al die ander krimenele sit en wag om in te kom by Dubai se lughawe, terwyl 'n beampte ons paspoorte in die vliegtuig gaan soek het. Dit in die middel van die nag en ons vliegtuig Chennai toe wag.... volgende keer vlieg ek maar weer sonder hom.

Chennai is nog net so warm, raserig en deurmekaar, maar darem meer bekend as 3 maande gelede. Maandag is die kinders terug speelskool toe, ek het geweet waar om al ons groceries te kry en die hoogte punt - Carlos het kom kuier ! Ons eerste oorslaap kuiergas. Wel, dit was vir werk dat hy hier was, so ons het hom net laat aand en vroeg oggend gesien, maar darem 'n bekende gesig in ons huis.

Die groot goeie ding wat gebeur het vandat ek laas geskryf het, is dat Inge plek gekry het in die Amerikaanse skool en begin Augustus met Kindergarten. Dis tans die skool se vakansie, so Chennai se expats is maar dun gesaai, almal iewers op hulle "home holiday" om te ontvlug van die hitte.