Author Archive

Business

It really is interesting how different business is in India vs. the U.S. Relationships in India trump the quality or price of a product every time. I’ve been traveling to various universities this week with a very well connected dealer. Professors don’t even ask about our products. They just want to talk to the dealer.

Another thing that is quite different is the type of questions that are asked of me during a visit with a customer. Besides talking about my company, they also throw out several curveball questions completely unrelated. These are the most common:

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Posted by on October 19th, 2012 No Comments

Gandhi

Yesterday I visited customers in the small town of Wardha, which happens to be where Gandhi spent his last few years. At the end of the day, I visited the Gandhi memorial. There was a lot of Gandhi swag for sale. I had some Gandhi herbal tea.

Posted by on October 17th, 2012 No Comments

Funny Waiter

Tonight at dinner my waiter brought to my attention that there is a drink promotion going on. If I buy two glasses of wine, I can get a third one for free. I jokingly asked him if he was trying to get me drunk. He became very uncomfortable and attempted to back-track.

The festival of Navratri has begun, which means there is a lot of traffic from people parading down the streets. There were many groups of people banging on drums and throwing colorful powder.

Posted by on October 16th, 2012 No Comments

Whiskey and Madonna

Today before I went down for dinner housekeeping stopped by my room. They were dropping off my “evening chocolate.” I could get used to that.

At dinner there was a little standee on the table advertising Black Dog whiskey. What was interesting was that there is a promotion going on in the hotel regarding Madonna. If you buy two shots, or what they call pegs, or whiskey, then you’ll get a free complimentary Madonna CD. She must be a big deal over in India.

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Posted by on October 15th, 2012 No Comments

Deserted Hotel

The hotel I’m staying in is very new. I think it’s only been open for 5 months. It was a little more crowded yesterday, but today it almost feels like I’m in the Shining. The place is deserted. I think every employee in the hotel knows my name.

On the bright side, there’s a very nice pool which I hung out at today. The food is also really good. They have real pizza which tastes amazing.

Tomorrow and the rest of the week I’ll be in the field visiting customers. Hopefully the weather is forgiving.

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Posted by on October 14th, 2012 No Comments

Feelin Fine

I finally got the special Indian flu out of my system. I had a headache for most of the week. As you can imagine, driving on the bumpy roads does not help. It was especially uncomfortable when I was in the field with one of our salesmen traveling on his motorcycle. The pain was extraordinary.

Last night at dinner one of the “special” waiters asked me if I wanted a glass of water. I told him yes and asked if he could bring me a lemon as well. He responded “Lime. Yes sir.” I’ll take what I can get.

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Posted by on October 12th, 2012 No Comments

Down for the Count

I’ve been pretty sick that past couple days. It’s very common to fall ill during monsoon season. Today is a little better, but still not 100% yet. The thing that has helped the most is coconut water, which is great for re-hydration.

Today I was in the bathroom and when I tried to get out the door was jammed. Of course I left my phone on my desk, so I was weighing my options. Knock hard until somebody comes to help me out or escape through the window. Fortunately I was able to get it open eventually.

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Posted by on October 10th, 2012 No Comments

Mumbai

Today I met up with a friend and we walked all around Mumbai. First we went to the Chor Bazaar, which is the big market place that sells everything that was stolen in Mumbai. You can find everything from food to electronics. You want it, they got it.

Then we went to the Gate of India and Colaba market. It’s one of the cleaner parts of the city, so it’s nice to walk around there. This led us to the Queen’s Necklace, which is a big stretch along the water. We walked along it and got all the way to the beach. We stopped for a snack of some local street food. Always a big gamble. But so far, I feel ok.

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Posted by on October 7th, 2012 No Comments

Dinner Delight

Dinner last night was very memorable. I went up to the make your own pasta stand and asked the cook questions about what all the ingredients were. At one point I pointed to an herb and asked him how spicy it was. He picks up a small bit of it in his bare hand, rolls it around, and confidently tells me that it is not spicy.  Besides the fact that this is slightly unsanitary, I found it hilarious that he could determine spiciness by simply the touch of his skin. Quite a skill set.

When I was ordering dessert, one of the waiters came over and I asked what flavors of ice cream they had. After hearing the list, I thought I’d ask to see if they had mango ice cream. He told me to wait one minute while he goes to ask one of the chefs. He then turns 90 degrees to the guy standing next to him and asks him if they had mango ice cream. I was expecting him to go in the back of the kitchen and ask the ice cream specialist or something.

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Posted by on October 6th, 2012 No Comments

Hotel Oddities

When I checked into my Indian hotel for the first time in July, I wanted to make myself a cup of tea. There were two mugs on the table. I picked one up and inspected it. Seeing a small blot of dust, I placed it down and used the other mug for tea. It’s now October and I recently checked into the hotel again and coincidentally have the same room. Once again, I go to make myself a cup of tea and find that same damn mug with the dust in it. I can only imagine how many people have gone through the process of only choosing the other mug. It’s quite astonishing really.

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Posted by on October 5th, 2012 No Comments