Thursday, April 29, 2010

My first cow siting

One thing about India is the smells, some can be almost gut wrenching bad that I fight gag reflexes. And others can be so heavenly aromatic that's its a wonder you are in the same place.

Cows are sacred in India and are never eaten or harmed. However they do stop traffic in crowded city's from time to time when they refuse to move. I was walking around today and finally saw my first Indian city cows. Three of them tethered to a pole. They looked pretty healthy and clean for cows. There was a man trying to feed them a banana. But He said they were full. I told him that I thought cows only ate grass, he says no they eat anything vegetarian. I guess they do when they are not full.

The Chabad House

I was walking around Colaba yesterday that's South Mumbai. I had my camera out and I was taking photos. Of various things, street life in general, when a security guard saw me and singled to me. I thought it was because I wasn't allowed to or that he didn't want me taking photos. There is a large security presence around Mumbai since the 2008 terrorist attacks , especially in areas frequented by foreigners or the elite.

So I was rather surprised when he pointed out I was standing next a wall that was pockmarked with bullet holes that had been highlighted with red paint and with the words above it

We Condemn The 26-11-08 Terror Attack

I immediately knew that this must have been where the Chabad house was. and sure enough right behind me was the actually building that the Israelis were in when the terrorists came in and started shooting. The building lays vacant now but there is a very sad an eerie feeling to that street.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My first days in India

I arrived in Mumbai/Bombay on the 26th of April. My first impressions are that I am pleasantly surprised the lack of hassle from touts or beggars on the streets. It really is a lot better than I had prepared myself for. What I hadn't prepared for was the intense heat. I had expected 30-35 Celsius not the 40-45 that I have been experiencing since I arrived. The Indians say its not normal to be this hot in April, they are saying the monsoons may come early this year. SO I am drinking loads of water and then topping it off with Kingfisher beer, India's Finest Lager.

Navigating this city by car is not for the faint at heart. The roads are filled with black and yellow cabs taking you anywhere you want to go for not even a tenth of what you would pay in the US or Europe for a cab ride. However the cabs with AC do charge more. And along with the masses of cars comes a constant streaming of horns, it doesn't stop. One actually drowns it out after awhile.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Vintage Czech Army Surplus bags

So while I have been here in the Czech Republic, between taking care of some personal things and hanging with the family and waiting for the skies to clear so I can fly out I have been scouring Army surplus stores for new unique finds that I can reconstruct to fit modern day man.

I found these khaki cotton vintage backpacks some of them have the date stamped on them I got one that says 1967. They are used and some have imperfections and soldiers writing on them. But they can hold a lot. And they look cool with all the hardware.

I also found two very rare medics bags bags, I have one from 1963 and the other from 1967. These bags carried some weird breathing apparatus, that came inside them. The instructions for use are printed on the inside flap. These messenger bags make perfect satchels for the guy who wants a man purse or murse.

And then I also found these Czech bread bags, they fit netbooks like a glove and are a perfect over the shoulder cross the body bag for your modern day warrior and all his gear.

All these bags and more photos can be found at Catfluff for purchase but hurry they sell out fast and when they are gone thats it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Czech Country side

Well I should have been in India on the 21st. But due to that damn Volcano Eyjafjallajokull I am still in the Czech Republic. So I decided to go to this Army surplus store to see if I could source some new bags to reconstruct. I found the road closed and a detour. So I took the detour and when I got to the road where the detour should have stopped I found the road closed, lol. I asked the guys who were not working on the road but trying to push a tractor out of a ditch if I could go through they said, no. I told them where I was going they told me to go back from where I came from, HUH? So I decided to back track a bit and use my internal GPS to see if i could get to where I wanted to go.

I found myself on a tiny back road through the Czech countryside, it was rather pretty. The trees are starting to bud and the grass was green and the sky was blue, and then I took a turn and saw the most typical site of the Czech Republic. A power station!

Yep thats what it looks like, there are about 10 of these power plants all within 60 kms of each other.

So after getting lost and traversing the Czech country side for another way to get to the Army shop. My internal GPS ,I have an unbelievable sense of direction, took me out back onto the road I needed to be on, and right across the street from me up a hill was the Army shop I was looking for.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Journey has started

First off I would like to start by introducing myself, My name is Gabi, but my Business name is Catfluff. I'm a trained designer but I have done many odd jobs and some not so odd in my 40 something years. I'm European born but American raised I have the best of both worlds really. I can look at a culture as an outsider yet still understand them. This has helped me plenty in my travels so far.

The past ten years I have spent living in Europe with a husband I adored but who no longer adores me. So I have found myself alone without a real home any longer. I met him ten years ago when I had set out to see the world I never did get all they way around then, so I'm giving it another go.

But this time I'm a bit wiser, or so I would like to think. Although I really don't know what I'm looking to find , I am looking for design inspirations. A real history buff and lover of all things old. I'm fascinated by taking used materials and reconstructing them into something useful.