McDonald’s India Has Some Dumb Menu Items

Went into McDonald’s (Vennala) this evening on the way back from work and saw that they had new stuff on the menu. Sweet! thought I. But nay….I was disappointed soon.

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The Cheesy Italiano Chicken – it is enough for Italy to declare war on India. A dry chicken patty with some melted mozzarella and what looks like Italian dry powdered herbs. Or McD’s stole some oregano and chilli flake packets from Dominos and powered them even further and put it on this patty with a couple of small pieces of onions. Voila – instant Italian classic…NOT!

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It was kinda bland and disappointing. Bun was multigrain or multiseasame or something stolen from Subway. It totally felt like something from Subway without all the options for toppings and sauces. This is part of McDonald’s India’s new “Flavours without Borders” menu – More like Borders without Flavours!! They describe the burger as – “juicy chicken patty, sprinkled with aromatic Italian herbs, layered with a rich and creamy onion-cheese sauce and shredded onions in a square toasted bun.” Seriously??? The preparation looks more like some guy in Bombay who was smoking some fine weed and coming up what he thought was “Italian”.

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They also had a new McFlurry – Phirni McFlurry a rice pudding dessert prepared to perfection with delicate flavours of rich condensed milk along with rice bits. It was ok but not as good as the others that they have!

Sunday, Monday Off

So I am working today, a Saturday. Has the world gone insane?

No, not really. As I had to take an emergency leave on Wednesday due to getting hurt and swelling just above the knee, we had to cancel the training for my current training batch of new hire employees. That was to have been day 1 of their training on the product & process. So we have to work this Saturday to compensate. I would have just taken a leave if the batch wasn’t scheduled to finish their training in 10 working days.

So I work today but I will be taking Sunday and Monday off and then next weekend I will be working on Saturday and only taking Sunday off. Bummer! I wanted to do the 1 day weekend thingy this week but my trainees have to go home to their hometowns and some of them live a little far away so they need two days off this week. Oh well! I guess I will go out tomorrow, I could use a haircut. Actually, I am over due for a haircut.

And then maybe I will go for a pizza or a couple of beers. I dunno. If I feel lazy on Sunday then I will go out on Monday morning. I will be working evening next week so that’s something.

The Best Infomercials That Tempted Me

 Have you ever bought one of those “as seen on tv” items? Was it worth it?

No never though I have been tempted on many occasions. There have been a few that have caught my eye, but most have been ridiculously priced that I have y doubts about them. Anyway, I will tell you about a couple that I did want to buy.

There is this mop – can’t remember the name – that is almost futuristic in it’s application and the technology that it uses. I remember watching it with my mom one late evening and I was asking her if she wanted to buy it. She did and so did I but we had our doubts about the genuineness of the sellers on the infomercial.

And then there is the Magic Bullet! Truly the best infomercial on the planet ever. I mean the almost 30 minute video – which was shown here in clips of 8 or 10 minutes each is hilarious, though it surely wasn’t meant to be. But it has become my favourite and even a nostalgic favourite of mine. I want to buy the Magic Bullet someday.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR DECEMBER at The SitsGirls

Overtime

Jesus fucking Christ! What is the point of this all? Another day at work and another 13 fucking hours at the office! This is getting beyond any sort of reasonable expectation. Work like a dog and do you get overtime – hell no!

This is getting a little out of hand. You can’t work your regular shift and then 4 hours extra and add an hour and a half of getting to and from the office to your home. I am getting rather tired and my health is getting affected badly. And I and am getting rather irritable and short tempered because of this nonsense.

Anyways I think we are coming to the end of this drivel. By the end of next week it will be done and I think we can get back to normal working hours and more peaceful working conditions.

If I Had $1,000,000

What would you do if someone just gave you $1 million?

I’d hug them and cry and hug them again. And make coffee for them. That would be the nicest thing anyone would have done for me.

1 million dollars US is approximately is 6.7 crores in India rupees. WOW! I would be rich. Well not by too much but still decently rich. Rich enough to buy a house or a nice, big apartment for my folks and one for myself! And I can decorate the homes with some really nice and comfy furniture as well as get the best gadgets for me and my folks.

I could also hire some good help for cleaning and cooking and afford some nice holidays. And I could retire and live in peace. That’s what I would do. Invest some money and live off the returns.

Prompt from Daily Teaching Tools

Worked In Sales Once Upon A Time

Have you ever worked in sales? Tell us your best story about that job!

Yes I have. One time it was direct sales but I only did that for about 3-4 months. I worked for a small marketing firm in Palarivattom and our first client was cable tv & ISP giant Asianet. They had started taking in advertisements on their website and for a measly sum of just Rs.365 a year (Re.1 a day) they would host an add to that business or store with the address and advertising their wares or service.

Now this was back in early 2000s – 2001 I guess and most people hadn’t gotten into the internet and websites and stuff over here, except for more younger people. A lot of the companies and businesses me and my colleagues went to were skeptical about websites and some even thought that the internet wouldn’t last! I met this teacher/professor of English, who had a business in the city for classes in English, who actually told me that he was aware about everything (his words, not mine) and told me that due to the Y2K problem the internet would die down in a few months (doesn’t he look stupid?)

We also did marketing for another online based advertising company. These two combined was my first experience with sales. We got very few sales but it was a good experience. I learned a bit from that job and today I look back on those days with some fondness.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR MARCH at The SitsGirls

1986

What was your life like when you were ten years old?

Let’s 10 years old means August 2, 1986 to August 1, 1987. I was still living in Kuwait with dad and mom when I turned 10. That would be my final year living in that country before we moved to India for good. I had joined a new school, New Indian School, for the 5th grade and that was a different experience too. Because classes started at 12 pm and ended at 6 pm. Plus they segregated the girls and the boys – the girls came at 6am and were never in the same classes as the guys.

That was weird especially since I came from Carmel school for grades KG till the 4th grade where girls were a majority. In fact in the 4th grade, it was 6 boys versus 40 girls or something like that. From that to just other boys in the class was a bit strange but at that age, none of us cared. We talked about….stuff that boys at the age of 10 talk about (so far back that I can’t remember) and our fav tv shows and sports. The World Cup in Mexico was in 1986 and we were all mesmerized by Diego Maradonna.

I watched my fav cartoons and tv shows. I played football with my friends. At my building I would play board games and video games with my friends who lived there. We bought candy and soft drinks and collected comics. All the things a 10 year should be doing. Those were simpler and happier times.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF JULY WRITING PROMPTS at The SitsGirls

9 Things That I Despise

9 things you just can’t handle {gross things like ugly toes etc etc}

  1. Use of loudspeakers (especially religious and political stuff)
  2. Aviyal – which is a vegetarian dish that reminds me of puke
  3. Cockroaches – I see one I have to kill it
  4. Too much body hair, including mine. Shave that shit off!
  5. People being fake
  6. People being way too full of themselves. Self confidence is fine, but you aren’t that special
  7. Rap & hip-hop music
  8. Devotional songs – god is great and we are shit!
  9. Working overtime without getting paid for it

Prompt from Sweet Ideas : 50 Things To Blog About at FatMumSlim

Mid-Week Break – Diwali Holiday

So I had yesterday, off as it was being the day that the corporate HR selected as being Diwali for the state of Kerala. In most of the other states that the company has offices, the holiday is today – Thursday. Why is it different for Kerala? Who knows but what is important is that it is a mid-week day off which is great. Two days working, 1 day off then 2 more days of working before the weekend.

And I need this. My brain is ok but my body is not. I have a sprained back or rather side of my back and it hurts when I get up from bed. This has been going on for a few days now. Oddly enough it doesn’t hurt when I am sitting or standing but when I lie down and stretch and also when I get up from lying down. I woke up today and I am tired body and soul.

I woke up late yesterday and did not want to do much at all. I planned to go out for some dinner, maybe a pizza, but as my folks and aunt were going out to my sister’s place and having dinner there, I thought it was a good evening to stay in, order some fried chicken and drink a couple of vodkas. I needed that but I am still tired and hurting a bit.

The Tragically Hip & An Indian

I first heard about the Tragically Hip back in 2001. I was online in an internet cafe and chatting with a couple of Canadians about this and that. I do not remember either of them but I do remember that both of them suggested that I listen to The Hip. Now, the band hadn’t penetrated the Indian rock music crowd and hence I had never heard of them before that day. I remember one of these sites where you download limited individual mp3s from various bands so I checked out a few. And I played the song Ahead By A Century.

That was my introduction to The Hip, the voice of Gordon Downie who was like no other. My fav songs of band also includes Wheat Kings, Bobcageon, Courage, 38 Years Old, New Orleans and Problem Bears. He was a poet and a lyrical genius. He didn’t sing like most people did; it was like he was pouring emotions out instead – lamenting, screaming, thoughtful, sarcastically and otherwise. He could go softer like in Wheat Kings or Bobcageon. He was an activist and spokesperson for the indigenous people of Canada and for the environment. And he touched people with his music.

Goodbye Gord! We will keep listening to your music until our time is done. Peace.

Sex And A Young Boy Named Roshan

How Did You Learn About Sex?

I will be honest. I learned about sex and the female form when I was 12 years old. A guy who joined my school and my class in 7th grade and who was about a year older than me and most of my other friends, showed us how to smoke and while we were smoking during the recess period, he also showed us a nudie magazine that he had brought to school with him.

That was the first time that I can ever remember ever seeing images of a woman naked. This was new territory for me to explore. I learned about the wonderful world of breasts and asses and sexy looking women with their vaginas on display. This was exciting and what was that weird feeling growing hard between my legs? A few of us ogled over the images and discussed what we saw and knew (which was very little) and in our minds we dreamed. I would never look at women the same way again.

This would lead to me watching my first few soft porn films with some friends and also getting my first nude film. This was pre-internet ofcourse so it was hard to sneak it in. But yeah the fascnination still continues to this day all these years later.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Bedtime Rituals

What does bedtime look like at your house?

Bedtime is usually between 11pm and midnight in my place. My parents will try and stay up till midnight if they can and find some program on tv that they can watch until sleep is too hard to fight against. Mom wakes up by 6 am so she doesn’t plan to stay up beyond midnight. Dad too wake up by 6:30 am or 7 so he too sleeps by 11.

We all have our little routines; mom makes sure everything in the kitchen is closed or in the fridge or in the cupboards before she switches off the lights. Dad gets his thick sheets and special mattress which is good for his back and locks the door to the balcony before he turns in. I make sure that I take a leak and get my bottle of water filled from the kitchen before I retire back to my room.

I always like to watch some tv show or movie before I go to sleep. When I do an evening shift – like a 5:30 pm to 2:30 am or a 6:30 pm to 3:30 am – then after I reach home and get into my room, change my clothes (or rather, strip naked as I sleep in the nude) and get in between the sheets, I usually like to watch a couple of episode of a comedy show. Frasier is what I am watch now and as I am going to be done soon, I will probably watch Friends or Corner Gas next. And then it’s off to sleep!

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF OCTOBER WRITING PROMPTS from at The SitsGirls

Roshie Tells You To Relax!

Does Your Life Leave You Enough Time to Relax?

I guess I do get enough time. Like for example I plan to do nothing all weekend but sit back and relax. I got some snacks and I will ofcourse have lots of coffee. Perhaps a little vodka with Sprite might be in the works.

I will watch and catch up on new shows that have had their latest season’s 1st or 2nd episodes released in the last week or two. I may have not have even noticed that they were out and hence I missed them.

Other than that, I plan to listen to some music and sleep as much as I can. I will watch a movie or two. I will blog and I will watch Youtube videos. I will lie back in bed. I will relax.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

The Greatest Fear

You’re locked in a room with your greatest fear. Describe what’s in the room.

My greatest fear is total failure. Lost of monetary income and with no hopes to gain anymore. With no money to pay the bills, to buy food, to buy medicine and keep the electricity and water running. No money to survive. Not just me but my family too.

I have had big glimpses of it and it is not pretty. Infact it is downright fucking ugly, bloody and messy. It’s the scariest thing that I can think of. Next to ghosts, goblins, werewolves, demons, zombies, a devil and eternal torture in hellfire – this one takes the cake.

So in this room I envision a vision of me in that situation and the sad realization that I have only one way out. And that way out is to end it.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

The Novel That Never Was

Do You Want to Write a Book?

Yes. Once upon a time, I always envisioned that I would end up writing atleast one book which will get published, maybe more. So far no go.

But there was a time when I did write 13 chapters of this idea for a novel I had. It was a scifi concept of a guy who befriends a scientist/inventor who disappears and our protagonist investigates. When he finds the scientist’s secret lab hidden under the latter’s garage he stumbles onto a large device that transports him into an alternate universe – one in which after two more world wars, men are rare and women dominate the planet.

The women keep men as slaves, for labour and for sex, and there are tussles between women in power to keep their quota of slaves. One man is shared by several women, who have assumed a post-apocalyptic military lifestyle. Our protagonist is found and enslaved but uses his wits to keep himself at the top of the slave chain and he doesn’t have to do much physical labour due to his smarts being used to help the women in command.

At one point – had I finished the novel – he would have escaped with a few women who are more gentle and kind and take a boat off to an island where they can live in peace with other like-minded men and women. But I never got that far.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Violence In Video Games

Do You Play Violent Video Games?

I don’t play video games at all. I used to and played quite a few but the only games I bought myself were a couple of FIFA & NHL from EA Sports. I however used to install a lot of demo games from various cds that I would get from computer magazines like PC Today and others.

Among these games I would often pick the first person style shoot him up like games, Duke Nukem and Doom in particular. There were 2 or 3 more but at this point in time I cannot remember the names of these games which I haven’t played since 2003 (Wolfstein something?). Yes these were bloody games with lots of gore and violence but because of the level of graphics at the time it did not look realistic at all. It looked like a game.

I don’t play them anymore but I don’t find them to be very violent either but perhaps because they look very cartoonish at the time. I wonder how the graphics for the current versions would look. It would be interesting.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Saturday Morning Movie

Despite working from 5:30 pm to 2:30 am on Friday I woke up by 7:30 am today in order to go to Lulu Mall and watch a 10 am showing of the movie Blade Runner : 2045. Unfortunately they were showing the film at only the morning 10 am or the 4:45 pm show. Now, coming outta Lulu Mall in the late evening hours and trying to get back to my place on a weekend, especially with the Under 17 FIFA World Cup game being held at Kaloor stadium is not a good choice. So I decided to go for the morning show.

So I woke up at 7:30 am though I still lay in bed till 8. I then woke up and brushed my teeth and got some coffee. I then ironed my shirt and shaved and took a shower. I hailed an Uber at 9:15 am and reached Lulu Mall by 9:38 am as there was hardly any traffic this morning. Then I went in and showed my e-ticket and go into the PVR and bought popcorn and Pepsi – my breakfast – and asked them to bring it to my seat.

Unfortunately my seat was not good and I ended up sitting on the edge of my seat as the recliner was setup way too back and I just couldn’t get it to be proper. Anyways after the movie, I went to get some nice chicken for lunch and then went to a Vodafone store in the heavy traffic and waited almost 2 hours for them to get me the new SIM for mum’s phone and for me to link my aadhar to my account. Then I bought a few snacks for the weekend and came home.