Archive for the 'Semi-Serious' Category

I’m starting a sexual revolution

In the news recently:

“Betel-nut condom wins taste tests
NEW DELHI, India (Reuters) — An Indian firm has launched a paan-flavored condom designed to evoke the pungent taste of the betel nut and tobacco concoction chewed and then spat out by millions of South Asians, newspapers have reported.

Hindustan Latex is targeting the new condom range at prostitutes, who are among the most vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, the Hindustan Times reported Tuesday.

The company ran taste tests with sex workers, including prototypes with chocolate, banana and strawberry flavors, but the paan flavor came out tops.

“The community loved it as most of the sex workers chew paan,” Sanjeev Gaikwad was quoted as saying at the launch in Mumbai. Gaikwad is a director at Family Health International, a public health organisations that helped develop the condom.

Paan is a mildly intoxicating preparation wrapped in a leaf, usually
containing tobacco, betel nut and flavorings, and is hugely popular across South Asia. It is chewed to a mouth-staining red pulp before being spat out.

The condoms will at first be made available only to prostitutes, but will we launched to the general public in a few months, the newspaper said.”

I’ve looked and can’t find the original article, but either way, this is the funniest story I’ve read from the region over the whole year. It’s certainly a very different approach to HIV development programmes, the polar opposite to all these pro-abstinance campaigns which are absolutely useless.

However, given how vigourously people chew paan over here, it might be great for the prostitutes but I’m not sure I’d be keen on covering my penis with something that makes people want to bite down. It’s the equivalent of smearing yourself in barbeque sauce and then waving your cock above a bear pit.

But if this really does take off, then how long before it becomes a commercial success in other countries? Not paan-flavoured, obviously, but if you could produce condoms to suit the local palate then you could be on to an instant money-maker. And now my lack of success every time I visit Poland can be simply put down to my lack of Durex smelling of boiled cabbage.

Thinking back to my teenage years in London, where nights on the pull were mainly spent standing in the back of pubs on my own, I’m not sure the boiled cabbage offer would have worked in the first place. Tragically, fashion-wise I was just too ahead of the times and it still annoys me that my unique look has since been copied and made popular by Harry Potter. But for all those misunderstood young men out there desperate for action, help could be hand. What do all young girls across the world love to suck when they go out, constantly, sometimes ten or more times a night? Exactly. Marlboro-Light flavoured condoms.

Someone please put me in touch with Phillip Morris. I think I might have just made the world a better place.


Head for the hills – Bangladesh is going nuclear

Everyone knows about how the chronic power-cuts are crippling Bangladesh, but the proposed solution could cripple the world – Bangladesh has apparently been granted approval by the IAEA for a nuclear power plant.

It’s not a joke. But it should be.

Given how farcically and tragically incompetant the government is here, certainly the old corrupt one, I wouldn’t trust an AA battery to Bangladesh, much less a nuclear power-plant. As my friend put it yesterday, who was it who looked at a map of Asia and thought: “I wonder where to put this incredibly dangerous and sophisticated piece of nuclear technology….? Ah yes, the Desh”. They’re going to have flourescent blood on their hands.

Continue reading ‘Head for the hills – Bangladesh is going nuclear’

Bangladeshi Bumper Stickers

I had the idle thought as I was weaving through no-mans land (cycling along the road) this afternoon that if there were bumper stickers on Bangladeshi cars/CNGs/rickshaws, what would they say?
You don’t get them over here.

The first five that sprang to mind were:

‘Braking is for Infidels’.
‘My other car’s a cow, but I slaughtered it’
‘No wing-mirrors = more aerodynamic’
‘Let me through, I’ve got the horn for you’
‘Driving straight is straight to hell’

Anymore? Please comment below, maybe there’s a business venture to be made…

Christmas every month

Thanks to the Bangladesh postal service. I came back from Cambodia the other day to find some presents waiting for me, only a month late. Over Christmas itself I was annoyed things didn’t come, but thinking about it, every time I come back to Dhaka I might have something waiting for me. The bribe to get the parcel wasn’t even that much! Excellent.

This great story from The Sun shows how post should be done though. Amidst a million morons, sometimes you’ll find one person with a bit of common sense.

How to Save English Cricket

From utter humiliation. Sort of.

I first became obsessed with cricket in 1991, and have spent most winter months since then getting up stupidly early to lie in the dark listening to Test Match Special broadcast across the crackling airwaves. I love it.

So I was particularly excited about coming to Bangladesh and being able to actually watch an England winter series, live, without having to get up at 3am. Except that we turned up in Australia and played the worst, most uninspired, gutless, directionless and cowardly cricket I can remember.

So it’s been a massive disappointment. I watched the first day of the MCG Test and haven’t bothered with the end, it’s like watching a dog die slowly.

I should point out that I have a huge amount of respect for the Australian players, and think that Shane Warne in probably the best bowler in the history of the game, and possibly one of the best players full stop. But I hate them. I really, really hate the Aussies, and their joyless gloating at beating us. The fact that we deserve it makes it worse.

So last night I came up with an incredibly cunning plan to wipe the smile of that weasly little bastard Ponting’s face.

We’re going to lose 5-0. It’s a certainty, because we’re rubbish.


1. Everyone who cares donates a few quid in to some kind of online money-box that some techie person who reads this invites quickly.

2. Once there’s about 500 grand in there, offer it to whoever’s umpiring the fifth Test, on condition that they falsely accuse England of ball tampering. It will end the Umpire’s career, but Daryl Hair tried to do it for 500 grand, so it should be ok.

3. Flintoff, indigant, refuses to lead England out to play. We forfeit the Test, but the series will forever go down in the history books with an asterisk saying that it wasn’t a complete 5-0 demolition. Hopefully it would put a dampener on the Australian celebrations and means that we can leave with the moral upper hand. Accused of cheating. Fancy that! We would certainly have won the Test otherwise…

I admit there are a few tiny flaws in what is otherwise a supremely cunning plan. But let’s face it, it’s our only hope. Playing competitive cricket is never going to happen. If anyone  can suggest  improvements,  comment away…

The Blah Party

Total bollocks, but no less than the normal rubbish that sits in Westminster. And almost more fun.

Check them out here

Five Colours Tea

I’m always a sceptic of the kind of ‘things to do/see/visit before you die’ lists, because I think they’re mostly just a big con set up by travel companies and dolphins, designed to make you properly skint before you die so you spend your real last days sucking on a biscuit. If you’re really about to pass on then far better to do something practical like cleaning out the fridge, cancelling the papers, chucking away the porn so at least when the time comes you can rest in peace.

But when we got to our little guest-house in Srimangal, the owners told us, in hallowed and no-uncertain terms that we had to find and try the Five Colours Tea. On the Finlay’s Tea Estate, the legend runs, there are two brothers who’ve invented a new way to make a brew. The most exotic, most exulted, is the tea of Five Colours, and the brothers have never told anyone their secret, nor have they ever left the shack they operate, so you either search for them yourself or go home a lesser man.

With that in mind we set off on our bikes early the next morning and headed straight for the Finlay’s Estate. Most of the workers still live on the estate so we passed countless little bungalows, some of them like little English chalets with families standing around outside staring at us and tending their vegetables or feeding their chickens and goat. We only half knew where we were supposed to go, and thought we were foiled by a security guard who refused to let us go further in to the estate at one point, but after a mile or two up and down dirt tracks, all looking more or less identical as they surrounded by the one crop, we spied in the distance a small shack in a clearing, that looked open.

We arrived sweating and gasping for a brew (it was about 10.30). There were, true to legend, two middle-aged, sun-dried Deshi brothers sitting on plastic chairs by a desk, next to a big old wooden cabinet with lots of casks and boxes locked inside it. We sat at one of the tables, they turned a ceiling fan on for us to buzz the flies away, and then one of them came over and placed down an order sheet. There were about 15 different drinks on there, ranging from lemon and other fruits, Finlay’s special blend and then two, three, four colour tea, and then finally at the very top, majestically, the Five Colours. Certainly no frotha mocha anorexic coke-ridden triple skinny shitty only-small-because-I’ll-get-fat frappe bloody latte.

We ordered, and waited whilst clinking sounds and other strange noises came from the back. I thought it was going to be some kind of special mix of five blends of brew, but nothing could have prepared me for the sight when it finally arrived (I’ve put a picture up on the blog). Served in a glass so you could appreciate it’s full glory, the brew was genuinely five different colours, all layered perfectly on top of each other, with no mixing, steaming away with a smell that can only be described as ‘drink-me’.

So you bring it to your lips, the aroma caressing your senses, take a sip. It. Was. Sensational.

Each colour is a different flavour, so the first hit is cinnamon, then sort of creamy milky, then ginger, then lemon, then honey. Because every layer didn’t mix, you either got it pure, or if you took too big a sip the flavours mixed together to create another brilliant sensation in your mouth. An experience to savour, but like all the best things, it was over too soon and I was staring at an empty glass with a blissful grin across my face. Tom and Georgia had the same.

Not wanting to over-do it (and given that I’ll be working only a few hours away all year), we paid up the 40p it cost (per cup. A fortune for tea in Bangladesh) and slinked away before hordes of children began to arrive and ask us everything about our lives and history which would have ruined the moment. We cycled away and spent the next hour in near silence, still enjoying the remnants of five-colour flavour in our mouths, feeling like we’d accomplished something special. And if any dolphin could better this they can click off.