Overload

“Incredible India” is a tourist promotion slogan. And, it is totally justifiable.

The truck in my picture is not unique. We saw many similarly loaded trucks on a short journey through northern Karnataka, and on many other road trips.

India is not simply incredible because of sights such as overloaded trucks, the wealth of colour, bustle, fantastic food, and the Taj Mahal. It is incredible because of its unending variety and generally very friendly people. Rich in history, the country has a very vibrant present.

Please note that I write this not as a promoter of tourism, but as a lover of a great country that survives despite itself.

Do they speak Welsh?

MARS

One of the many patients, whom I treated while I was studying dentisty at University College London, was a highly intelligent senior civil servant. There was much work that needed doing in his mouth, so he visited my clinic frequently and we got to know each other reasonably well. At least, that is what I began to think.

 One morning, he arrived for his appointment and sat in my dental chair. After exchanging pleasantries, he said:

“You know those Martians, who have landed in Wales?”

“Mmmm,” I replied.

“Well, I’ve heard that they communicate without exchanging words.”

“Telepathy?” I asked.

“Yes, that’s it”

I turned away from him, ready to wash my hands, when he continued:

“Well, I was wondering whether when they are in Wales they communicate in English or Welsh.”

Feeling a smile coming on, I turned my back to him, and began washing my hands for long enough for my urge to laugh to wear off.

As the saying goes, it takes all sorts…