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Andrew Buncombe's Asia Diary

The Independent's Asia Correspondent Andrew Buncombe is based in Delhi. His dominion ranges over India, Pakistan, Burma, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, occasionally parts of South East Asia and - or at least he is hoping - The Maldives.

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A mislaid sex toy, Partition and a splendid hotel

Posted by Andrew Buncombe
  • Wednesday, 3 February 2010 at 12:15 pm

The Imperial Hotel in Delhi has seen many things over the years. Perhaps most famously, its cool, white-washed colonnades witnessed much of the drama surrounding the negotiations that led to the Partition of India. At the time, James Cameron, the stylish chronicler of South Asia, would later recall, "anyone who meant anything in Indian affairs was there milling around in this great Oriental Ealing". 
 Even now, the hotel retains an old world charm and is popular with those who can afford it for its afternoon tea, cocktail bar and breakfast buffet. But in what may be a new experience for the hotel, it has now become the location of a search for a missing sex toy. In a message posted on an online forum used largely by ex-pats in Delhi, a man whose name I shall withhold, claims his girlfriend "forgot her dildo in the restrooms of the Imperial hotel yesterday".
"If anyone of you expats is planning to have some fun there very soon, please let us know, because we're on a trip to Khajuraho (site of a series of temples featuring erotic carvings) right now," he adds. "We don't dare to tell the hotel workers directly. We're new in India and we don't know how to deal with the culture gap even if Indians are supposed to be masters in the erotic field."
 The gentleman provides further details on the missing item, saying it is the shape of a crucifix and was a gift. "It has a strong sentimental value for both of us.I know some of you guys can understand. Thanks a lot if anyone can help," he adds.
 I was initially a little doubtful about whether the message was genuine but as a colleague points out, the forum is not known for rapier-like wit. Anyway, I have emailed the man who posted the message to ask if there's any news about his missing toy. However, my devotion to journalism is not sufficient to have me call the dear old Imperial.
UPDATE. It's been found. The gentleman with the missing sex toy has posted a new message that reads: "I would like to thank all the dildo lovers who warmly proposed to help us, and especially [name deleted] who first found the dildo, and then found my note on [the forum].You all have been really cool, sometimes witty, sometimes hot. It makes me think of forgetting many dildos in this crazy city for expats."  


gp200 wrote:
Thursday, 4 February 2010 at 05:37 am (UTC)
I’m not sure if this is the appropriate forum for me to say this - but anyway.
I had seen these posts regarding a lost dildo and couldn’t help thinking that the person posting them sounded a lot like a dildo himself. I may be out of line saying this but matters pertaining to crucifix shaped dildos, girlfriends and public bathrooms are generally private matters and not appropriate for open forum discussions.
I might be a prude, but think the context of the dildo post lacks taste and lowers the general standard of the forum. I am going to deregister myself from that particular forum so I don’t have to read this type of low level trip again
One good thing that has come out of this is the Tosser and his girlfriend who found her dildo can continue tossing with their crucifix.

poor taste
abuncombe wrote:
Thursday, 4 February 2010 at 06:25 am (UTC)
Dear gp200, I think you're correct about such issues more usually being private matters. But you must surely admit that the man's post about his missing sex toy was more entertaining than the usual stuff on that forum, taken up as it usually is with people recommending the services of a nanny, trying to sell a second-hand stove or else asking about mid-range hotels in Dharamsala?
Anyway, even if you re-register from that forum I do hope you will continue to keep reading THIS diary, famed as it is for its high standards of taste and decency and with absolutely no requests for help in locating missing sex toys.
Best wishes,
Was it serious?
livinindelhi wrote:
Thursday, 4 February 2010 at 08:29 am (UTC)
My friends and I are struggling to believe that this post was serious..

There have been a few other 'interesting' posts that have featured recently on that forum - one asking for an Indian woman to marry a foreign artist who needed a visa (for non-financial compensation.. whatever that is) and another asking for a 24 hour maid to wipe the bottom of their aged granny for a ridiculously low salary.. Oh and then there was the guy who wanted to know where to buy a cow to take with him back into Europe.

Funny, (mostly) yes. But can it really be serious?
joelelliott wrote:
Thursday, 4 February 2010 at 12:30 pm (UTC)
Andrew, I too thought the ad was hilarious. If only Yuni Net were so helpful in selling motorcycles!
abuncombe wrote:
Thursday, 4 February 2010 at 01:52 pm (UTC)
Joel, great to hear from you and hope all is well. Any news on a possible return to these parts?
Andy Buncombe
joelelliott wrote:
Thursday, 4 February 2010 at 01:58 pm (UTC)

I'm in Vietnam/Thailand/Cambodia/Laos(and maybe if I'm lucky)/Myanmar until the second week of April. Still planning for what comes next.

Don't think it was real
emmaline3 wrote:
Friday, 5 February 2010 at 11:32 am (UTC)
For one reason alone, I assumed it was fake. If you google the name of the lady whom this guy claims found his toy, you'll turn up several posts made by what is clearly an internet forum troll.

In short, I think it was -- and, based on the most recent post to Yuni, may continue to be -- an amusing prank.
Um, I'm no troll. :(
tarabohra wrote:
Sunday, 7 February 2010 at 01:13 pm (UTC)
I beg to differ. It is true that the Internet disinhibition effect lowers (or disables) my threshhold for stupidity as you might have seen in my little screeds to newspapers and bloggers. However, I am myself a freelance journalist, writing for Cosmopolitan and other publications. I did indeed find the offending object (which I must confess, and not in front of this object, that I never dreamed existed). I thought of taking it away, thinking it might make an interesting Cosmo feature (trends in sex toys - I've found a frightening selection of bizarre shapes, including Buddhas, Death Heads and Devils) but a friend showed me this post and so I felt morally (and frankly, aesthetically) impelled to return it to its rightful owners.
about sex toys wrote:
Thursday, 11 February 2010 at 04:27 pm (UTC)
a glass dildo ( can be joined to the luxury details.
Thanks Andrew
sex_toys_store wrote:
Friday, 30 April 2010 at 09:29 pm (UTC)
I enjoy your writings. Keep it up.
Re: Thanks Andrew
abuncombe wrote:
Thursday, 6 May 2010 at 11:28 am (UTC)
Thanks very much. Always good to get endorsements from suppliers of sex toys!
mislaid sex toy
saturn72 wrote:
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 at 04:41 pm (UTC)
Good story Andrew, though you would be surprised how popular dildos and vibrators are for expats and overseas customers. Shopping for sex toys at a reputable online adult shop is the way to go...


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