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By Rebecca McCourtie
Swedish Pickles, Danish sausages, French pastries… French WINE…
Cheese… LOTS of cheese, cow, goat, sheep… I think I covered the European continent with that one! Polish pierogi, Moroccan tagines, English fry-ups, Maltese pastizzi, Belgium chocolate, and last but not least German mayonnaise… LOTS of German mayonnaise. My favorite? Definitely the mayonnaise twirled with tomato ketchup in a tube. Yes, that’s right: IN A TUBE… no sandwich, no cracker, no anything to take away from the amazing processed flavor of tomato ketchup and mayonnaise in a tube. Straight from the tube into the mouth! DELICIOUS… nothing but the straight hit of mayo goodness on the taste-buds, interrupted only by the intermittent splash of 4.8 percent beer to wet the old whistle and keep the lips moist.
I guess you could say I have taken ‘tasting culture’ to a new level on this trip. Not that I have ever been one to say ‘no’ to a snack or ‘yes’ to a diet while travelling. I do, however think I may have taken ‘tasting culture’ to the level of uninhibited culinary indulgence. Like white on rice, I’ve made sure I’ve tasted everything imaginable while gallivanting around the globe, sometimes even going in for seconds. This was OK while I was working 60-hour a week shifts as a waitress in London, but now that I’m not so active, I should probably reign it in… No, I definitely need to rein it in!
I bought a dress the other week, which while on the subject matter of dieting, is ironically the color of Bengali fish curry. I saw it, loved it… had to have it (a bit like my approach to food). I didn’t try it on until I got back to the hotel. While the dress is amazing, the problem is that there is only enough room for two breasts… and I’m currently pimping four (if you know what I mean). You know that nasty over-flow you get under the armpits that hangs out like an overflowed already baked muffin? NASTY! As I stood in front of the mirror I said to myself: ‘ENOUGH, these burgeoning tuck-shop lady arms have to go!’ Don’t get me wrong, I love breasts just as much as anyone else, but two is enough!
I’m not a big girl, in fact I would say I was a great size (most of the time). I exercise every day and make a conscious effort to stay fit. My problem isn’t exercise, it’s the over-indulgence that has the propensity to lull me toward the perimeters of dangerously curvaceous.
For example, I think I must be the only Australian to have EVER gone to India and put weight ON.
Usually you hear stories of people getting Delhi-belly and shedding in weight the equivalent of a Keralan toddy tapper. Not me, I went to India and gained the equivalent of a small baby elephant! Saying ‘no’ to foreign foods does not bode well for this lass who loves her kati role with the lot (followed by dessert of course)!
In Australia we have what is called ‘Dry July’. It’s basically an entire month dedicated to abstaining from alcohol and raising money for charity. I have unofficially been doing this since the first of this month, along with being more cautious about what I eat (80 grams of chocolate covered blueberries as I write this aside). It’s working! I know I am slimmer because my clothes no longer look like the casing of a sausage when on my body, not to mention the fact that I feel healthier! My face is slimmer and I am starting to feel like me again! In addition, I think dragging over 30 unnecessary kilograms of zealously packed luggage around Europe is helping me attain my goals.
Let me tell you, you can always tell if a city welcomes tourists by whether or not their metro and train stations have escalators / elevators. Nothing burns a pint of beer off faster than having to drag 30 odd kilograms up 50 steep steps!
So yes… long story short, my new dress made me realize that I needed to lose weight. My new dress AND the frequent Facebook updates from the MilindSoman page about his marathon training progress. I figured I had better get in shape for my future husband. He doesn’t know about our impending nuptials yet of course, but I guess this just gives me more time to shed the evidence of my culinary indulgences! I doubt he likes four boobs! Well, four boobs on one woman anyway!
Rebecca McCourtie is an Australian, 29 and is travelling the globe with the hope of ending up in India. She wants to talk about this, that and the next thing… nothing is off limits!
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Siddhi Jain
The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.
Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.
Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background
'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash
Written for a global audience, the book is targeted at kids between the ages of five and 10, the reason it is embellished with colourful images of families of different types is to appeal to children's sense of sight and drive home the message at the same time. Borthakur believes children are the best place to start because the ages between five and 10 are the most formative, where little ones pick up habits, beliefs and perceptions.
The Guwahati-born author says, "With this book, I'm not trying to take away the job of parents in forming habits, I simply want to do my part as a parent. It is important that we impart the right values in our kids in a bid to build a better, more inclusive and tolerant global society that is fair to everyone." The author's first attempt at a book was an Assamese poetry 'Anubhav', published in 2010.
Set to be published under the label of Author's Channel, the book is like an adventure; a journey into uncharted territories, untouched subjects and matters long ignored. In her words. "The book takes a critical stand in defense of people in society who have had to undergo severe emotional torture for no cause of theirs. It is a terrible conception to think such people any less of a human just for being different," says publisher Aruna Naidu. By September 30, this title, priced at Rs 299, will be available online and in offline bookstores. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Book, children, Guwahati, Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories, moral, story, kids, discrimination, equality
If you feel that clean and well-groomed hands are just an essential prerequisite for women, you might like to think twice. Men should equally pay attention to their hands because our hand houses 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimeter of its skin. You can easily assume what havoc it can create in our body because in India we have the culture of eating with our hands and spaces beneath nails can become breeding heaven for germs. Moreover, clean and maintained hands boost confidence in their daily life activities. Therefore, it's important to keep your hands clean irrespective of your gender by washing or sanitizing at regular intervals. And, to keep them groomed, you don't have to visit a salon.
Rajesh U Pandya, Managing Director, KAI India, gives easy and completely doable tips to follow at home:
* Refrain from harsh soaps: You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. Your soap can have a moisturizing element in it like aloe vera or shea butter. Ensure that you're washing your hands with normal water as hot water can make your hand's skin dry and scaly.
You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. | Photo by Aurélia Dubois on Unsplash
* Clip your nails regularly: Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. After cutting your nails at a comfortable length also file them using a nail filer. Never share your nail care clipper as the germs can get transferred to your loved ones. Also, don't forget to use grime remover to remove hidden germs in corners and beneath nails. Also, you may like to file your nails to have a smooth finish.
* Good quality Nail Clipper: Do not use a rusted or chromium coated nail clipper as it might be harmful to skin and might cause dangerous bacterial infections.
* Stop the habit of nail chewing: Sometimes anxiety or extreme boredom can lead to chewing of nails. This habit only makes your nails uneven and ugly. Sometimes, our unclean nail folds give rise to viral, bacterial or fungal infections, which in turn can make us sick if we chew our nails.
Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. | Pixabay
* Exfoliate your hands: Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. You can buy a scrub or make one at home using brown sugar and olive oil. After scrubbing, you need to massage your hands with moisturizer.
Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. | Wikipedia
* Don't use your nails as tools: Always keep in mind that your nails are like jewels. Never use them to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters, or scraping off labels. This results in unnecessary breakage of nails, making your hands look dirty.
Never use your nails to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters or scraping off labels. | Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash
* Be aware of nail or cuticle inflammation or redness: If there are any signs of infection, disinfect the skin as soon as possible with an anti-bacterial or anti-fungal ointment.
(Article originally written by N.Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Nails, groom, hand, exfoliate, chew, nail clipper, bite, cuticle
Bitcoin has become an essential crypto asset in modern portfolios and investment funds. The confidence generated in this cryptocurrency will depend a lot on the diversification that companies make in their balance sheets in Bitcoin and the increase of institutional investors that allocate a percentage of their funds in this crypto. American fund manager Cathie Wood makes some interesting predictions, both in the rise that the Bitcoin price will experience in the next 5 years, suggesting these institutional investors allocate 5% of their funds; this will help leverage the Bitcoin market.
Bitcoin will grow by a tenfold
Bitcoin is projected to grow by 10 times its current value in five years, i.e., it could reach $500,000. Of course, this will require companies to invest in cryptocurrencies. This makes it necessary to increase the weight of Bitcoin on balance sheets through investments. One of the investment gurus who supports this prediction is Catherine Wood. Contrarily, Ray Dalio, despite being clear that relying on cash is not a good strategy, views Bitcoin with suspicion, although he calls for its investment. This behavior is due to the actions of governments against the cryptocurrency market.
If something is undoubted is the vertiginous increase that cryptocurrencies have had in general, they have risen more than 60% so far this year. So, even when some governments are trying to regulate cryptocurrencies, they will fail. This attempt to regulate will end up triggering even more cryptos, especially Bitcoin, which is the oldest and most solid of that market.
Bitcoin, is the oldest and most solid of the market. | Photo by Executium on Unsplash
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The current Bitcoin price means is time to buy:
The current price of bitcoin invites you to buy, and perhaps it would be foolhardy not to. In either case, bitcoin will always represent money. Maybe some external factors generate some misgivings, but if you refuse to invest in cryptocurrencies, you are basically denying the near future, it would be as if you didn't have a cell phone or internet.
In India, more and more people are becoming convinced of the benefits of holding some Bitcoin. This can be clearly seen in the rapid increase in the number of new accounts at crypto exchanges such as WazirX and CoinDCX.
ALSO READ: How can you trade in Bitcoin in India?
Bitcoin, despite its fluctuations, represents an excellent financial strategy. The support users give is significant. The same cannot be said of the FIAT currencies, which have lost value and support, showing how fragile they are, being subjected to a constant devaluation. As long as confidence in cryptos grows, the foundations will continue to be laid to maintain their rise and to be able to continue making transactions. We know this by previous experience, as has happened with Ether, thanks mainly to the growing activity of Defi and NFT, i.e. decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens.
Remember that when you invest in Bitcoin, you can do it by buying or trading. When you want to make these transactions do it in a secure Exchange, study your finances to invest, manage the risk, and learn to manage your portfolio efficiently.