Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Christmas Blog...

Is that like a letter? 'Cuz I don't do a letter. It is true, though. Christmas IS coming, the cows are getting fat (doesn't matter though...they know just how safe they are. Go ahead, moo at me in that smirky, "you caaaan't eat me" way...just go right ahead. Hope it makes you happy. Nope. No fatted calf munching around here...WHAT! You mean to say that typically there are geese involved in this rhyme? Yeah, don't live in India. But the cows...they know exactly what I mean.

Have I mentioned how much I like a nice standing rib roast for Christmas?

Okay, okay...honestly, I love the cows wandering our Bangalore streets. There is something so self assured about them. Maybe they are divine. After living here for some time, I am hardly the girl to argue with Krishna (or any Hindu deity, for that matter)! Divinity being in the eye of the beholder, much of the time.

This Christmas has been a little strange. So many people we know are gone or leaving for the holidays....and our friends, The Loud Americans are not only gone for Christmas but they leave for good about 2 weeks after they return from their holiday. Other friends are also departing India. So, it's quiet here and we are thinking about the people we've become close to...

I wonder if I have a Christmas letter in me after all? Hmmmm...let's see. What were the Fischers really up to in 2008????

Bob (aka "Daddy", well disputed KING of the family...or as he likes to call himself, "lord of all") Experienced numerous bouts of the famed "Delhi Belly" and lived to tell the tale. Worked 300 bajillion late hours. Endured various unfriendly wife events with grace and irritation. Was frequently kicked in the back by his four year old bed buddy...aka O-ee P. Fischer, leaver of (aptly named) pee spots. Bright spots were, of course...a free Business class upgrade on the Emirates A380, the pleasure of really enjoying his job, increased "date nights" with his wife, and the arrival of Belgian Beer in Bangalore.

Chandra (aka "Mommy" clearly well known as "The Boss" and less lovingly referred to as...well, I won't bore you...we all have been in those moments, haven't we?) Rest assured, life in a foreign country does not always make you a bastion of extra loving perfect peace and harmony. Luckily, one can always blame that pesky weather! Or Fever. Just have some coconut water and a heaping bowl of curd rice,'ll all be juuuust fiiiine. Ahem...anyway. This year, mommy got to practice testing her patience! Her head exploded only 27% of last year's total and she has been completely unsuccessful in convincing those around her to please put the same thing back in the same place more than one time! And now she doesn't even care! Mommy has managed to stop swearing at buses that veer dangerously close to her vehicle and sometimes has to remind herself to put on her seatbelt. Bright spots are...knowing exactly where to find all kinds of items in Bangalore...even (coincidentally) when they aren't in the same place they were the time before. Homeschooling...Especially alongside some amazing friends., Not seeing any rats for a record 6 months, completing more class work in her midwifery program, and, of course, the lack of additional 51 hour international flights in her life.

Grayce (aka Grayce, eater of white foods...) Dropped out of school and is still plenty smart. Did not throw up during a 4D log role movie, lost and gained numerous teeth, tasted egg yolk and said, 'it isn't too bad." Bright spots include spending hours with her friends "inventing" a new language, learning to play tennis and kick her Dad's arse in Tae Kwon Do, spending hours with her friends giggling uncontrollably, falling "in love" with a cute boy named, Henry and consuming 367 bowls of plain pasta with cheese on the side.

Owen (aka "Ow-ee,", The Boy Who Doesn't Breathe When He Speaks...) Stopped Having "Nummies," Developed multiple Secret Super Hero Powers, Learned to speak "Snake," Resumed his "Rightful in-the-middle-of-the-night Spot" in Mom and Dad's Bed. Bright spots are...teaching himself to peel and cut carrots, Convincing Vimala to turn on the T.V. and let him eat chocolate, Learning to Ride a Two-Wheeler Before His Older Sister, Memorizing Egyptian Facts, Committing Nefarious Deeds with his alter ego, Henry, and Never Losing A Board least according to him.

That, friends, is the sum of our (at least, humorous,) parts. We have not cured cancer. We do not expect to win awards for our humanitarian deeds. Nobody suspects us of Ultimate Genius. Still, we're a pretty cool family. We have nice friends. We're awfully fond of good wine. We're fortunate enough to have traveled in previously distant and foreign lands. The World has opened up to us in ways we never imagined...

We hope that You have founds some of the same kinds of joy in the every day...

Merry Christmas and...Happiest of New Years!

The Fischers
In India, Proud Combatants in Facing the Christmas Flu...Fuuuuuunnnnnn. The Oysters in India?? A Wicked and terribly Un-accomodating Virus?? Who Knows...

Tip of the Day: When the Obscenely numerous packages are (in between trips to the toilet,) unwrapped and Your Daughter Has Finally Stopped Throwing Up In Time For Christmas Bed...Cancel Your Christmas Dinner Reservations and Open a lovely bottle of champagne with your Christmas Grilled Cheese Sandwich...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A little more fun in Singapore...

Our fun cable car ride to Sentosa Island...

Since I'm trying to improve upon my blogging frequency, I thought I'd better post a bit more about our trip to Singapore:

The kids trying to root for Daddy...we missed him at every point!
Marathon running in dripping wet humidity aside, Singapore is a pretty "cool" place, famous for...

The Heat! Yes, hot enough for frequent spontaneous human combustion, (I swear!)

-Dripping Wet Humidity!!

-Really Cold Air-Conditioning!! (Honestly, one minute you are sweating like a piggie and the next you're wishing for a parka...)

-Being "clean and green"... Really, really, noticeably clean. Much cleaner than India by any stretch of the imagination. Helps that it is extremely unlawful to do things, like, LITTER. And they have these absolutely amazing little boxes all over the place. They call them...trash bins! Wow...we have SO acclimated to India that we talked alot (and with great delight) about things like footpaths (aka sidewalks), good roads and yes, the lovely trash bins.

-Money (and the thing that typically follows that, Shopping!) Singapore is shockingly expensive in comparison to India...though not so different than places like New York or London. And there are a ton of huge malls, which usually isn't my thing, but was kind of nice this time, since the malls and the Orchard Road shopping district were completely decked out for Christmas...and that is something you don't see much of in India.

-Food. Yummy, yummy food... Malaysian, Chinese, Seafood...all kinds of great food. Pitifully, we only had a small sampling of the options.

-Being one of the (if not THE) largest shipping port. We loved seeing all the shipping vessels in the harbor and the huge shipping yard full of was surreal.

-An amazing Zoo and Night Safari (as well as the Bird Park)...and Sentosa Island, which is kind of like an amusement park...pretty touristy but the kids loved it and it had an aquarium and pink dolphins and nice beaches.
Grayce and Owen feed the Kangaroos!
The Kangaroos were so sweet...

Lizard friend on the sidewalk...not a zoo resident.

Just some monkeys hanging around!

Owen, the Maharajah of Snake Land...aka Snake Boy!!

Kissing Cousins?? This was so cool...the funny fish came right up to the glass for a look-see at the "strange" creature peering in at him.
Graycie's namesake...she just happens to love Dugongs (Asian relatives of the manatees found in Florida) and though we didn't get any great pictures of this Dugong, she really was beautiful!

We hand fed the Stingrays with bits of raw fish...they actually suck it from right between your's a little creepy feeling!

The Pink Dolphins!Graycie dancing at the beach on Sentosa Island...

Owen, wet, sandy and happy on Sentosa Island...

Okay, one's bursting into flame, here... But the fire dancers at the Night Safari are WAY cool! It was too dark to take any pictures, but if you ever get to Singapore, don't miss this!

Kids and Pythons...can't keep 'em apart. Even our Grayce got in on the snake action...

-Which brings me to another thing Singpore is famous for... Rain! We forgot our umbrellas under a sunny sky and it poured sheets of rain while we were at Sentosa. We were all soaking wet but it didn't stop us.

At Sand Castle Beach...

We didn't get to see or do everything...and missed some of the other things that Singapore is famous for but it was just the break we all needed and we REALLY enjoyed the clean, safe, convenient and cheap (the only thing that really was) public transportation!

The Fischers

in Bangalore, India

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Bird Is the Word...

Have you heard? (This Blog is here on out, dedicated to my Sister, Alicia...)
"Are you aware that 98% of Americans do not, in actuality, know that The Bird Is The Word?"

It is possible that many Singaporeans DO in fact, possess awareness of this Bird-Like, Word-Like, Phenomenon. Singapore, featuring the fantabulous "Jurong Bird Park," cannot be unaware of this immutable fact of the Universe.
Birds are relatives of Dinosaurs...a sure way to winning a young boy's vociferous interest.
"Bird, Bird, Bird. Bird is the word..."

Ask Owen...He knows!

Owen Feeds The Bird...

The Bird Finds a New Home (aka, "madame, please, the birds shall peck out his eyes" courtesy of an informative, Indian tourist). Striking Visual, isn't it?

Grayce may very well have known all about the Bird and its history as The Word had she not been ill with Fever. Fever which strikes without fear (or notice) and forces Parents to dine on expensive (though delicious, amazing, Chinese) room service, drinking wine in the hallway, dodging suspicious security guards wandering sureptiously through hotel hallways while children sleep with octopus bodies in every available bed space.
Owen smiling because, well, afterall....The Bird Is Most Assuredly, The Word.
98% of you are probably entirely convinced that I am unbalanced. The other 2% have participated in the worldwide Bird communicado and are as unbalanced as I. (Note, the other 2% most likely consist of my sisters, my brother, and a few odd(literally) family, friends or aquaintances of the lot of an inside joke, but it there you have it.)
Singapore was fun! As usual, I am the Chief Blogging Procrastinator... Thanks to Bob for the recent "filling of the void" as I attempt to reconstruct our world in the past few months. More Singapore bloggin' to follow (really!)
The Fischers
Spreading "the word"
in Bangalore

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Marathon # 8

Got the job done, but it was not pretty. There was no option to run the half, so I was left to run the full. Finished in five hours and six minutes, a personal worst by over 30 minutes, but still was fun the run the race and see the sights. When I first started training for the race somebody told me I should drag a treadmill into a steam room to train, I thought he was kidding until I started to run the race. The combination of heat, hummidity, no wind in the downtown sections, and 15,000 bodies created a sweltering start to the race, the heat was everywhere. I was not the only one to be covered in sweat before the race had even begun. If I run Grandma's marathon next year I may have to wear a fleece to keep warm.
Before the race I made the decision to take it easy and finish in one piece as I was still not feeling 100% and had run only five miles in three weeks. Had "fun" on the course and was able to enjoy the run versus try to get a better time. One highlight was we ran through the Singapore Grand Prix paddock area and they had about 50 different Ferrari's lined up for our viewing pleasure, great excuse to walk versus run for awhile.
Chandra will be blogging about our other adventures when we return to Bangalore.
The limping Fischer

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Marathon time.....maybe

We are off to Singapore and I will hopefully be running the marathon that I trained four months for. I had no running related injuries the entire time and things were looking good until a nasty flu virus decided to invade me and overstay its welcome by a week or so. I have now been sick with the flu for over two weeks and only run once in 16 days, which was very painful and did not offer much hope. The plan is to quickly recover by Sunday or beg my way into the half marathon.
My backup marathon plan is now in the works courtesy of the just announced Bangalore Midnight Marathon on December 14th. The organizers of this marathon opend up registration only two weeks before the actual race. Most people need at least 3-4 months to train but this group can pull it off it two weeks! A few perks if I do run it: It will cost me $4.50 to enter and it passes right in front of Palm Meadows a few times if I decide I have had enough mid race, which will be about 2-3 in the morning.