Airplane Secret

On Saturday I was flying from Nagpur to Mumbai. About halfway into the flight, I got up to use the restroom. The sign on the door said “Occupied” so I waited in the aisle. After five minutes go by, one of the flight attendants asked me if I need any help. I told her I’m just waiting for the bathroom. She was not convinced that somebody was in there, even though the sign indicated otherwise.

The flight attendant looked over her shoulder to see if anyone was watching. She then slid the small sign that says “Lavatory” to one side and peaked into the bathroom. After confirming that nobody was in the bathroom, she slid the door open and motioned for me to enter.

read more

Posted by on December 2nd, 2012 3 Comments

Housekeeping Gift

The last time I was staying in my current hotel, I was very friendly with the staff. I was even invited to their holiday staff party. Some of the housekeepers who saw that I was staying again were very happy to see me. They even put special flowers in my room.

It’s always good to be nice to everyone. You never know who will do something nice back to you.

Posted by on November 29th, 2012 1 Comment

Hotel Restaurant

The best part about being in Nagpur is the hotel’s restaurant. They serve the best pizza I’ve had in India. I could close my eyes and be in an Italian restaurant. So good!

While eating, I saw a family at a table near mine, where a little boy kept looking over at me. Eventually, after getting the blessings from his parents, he got up from his table, walked up to me, and with an innocent child’s voice said: “Where are you frooom?” I went over and chatted with the family for a bit. Always nice to be friendly with the locals.

read more

Posted by on November 27th, 2012 No Comments

Train Traffic Jam

After a train goes by and the dividers go up, it’s a mad race to cross the tracks to the other side of the road.

Posted by on November 26th, 2012 1 Comment

Strange Things

I’ve seen some strange things while I’ve been in India. Extreme poverty, mobs of people, peculiar food, you name it and I’ve seen it. Today I saw a goat riding on a motorcycle. The one thing to keep in mind is that this is probably his last motorcycle ride, and photograph, since he’s being taken to a slaughterhouse.

Posted by on November 22nd, 2012 No Comments

Indian Thanksgiving

This is the second Thanksgiving I’ve had to missed due to being out of the country. The first time was when I was in Spain, but fortunately I had a nice quasi-Thanksgiving celebration with my fellow classmates. In India all I did was go to work and visit customers, followed by eating Indian food for dinner alone. Not quite the same. No turkey in India either. Mashed potatoes I could care less about… But I always make the best of it. I like chatting with the hotel staff. They’re so impressed when I throw out a few words or phrases in Hindi. They really appreciate me trying since not many foreigners try to learn Hindi. –> Better service for moi.

read more

Posted by on November 22nd, 2012 1 Comment

Mumbai Lockdown

Yesterday there was an announcement that the leader of the Shiv Sena political party, Bal Thackeray, passed away. Rumor has it that he died a few days earlier, but the government did not want to announce that during the Diwali holiday. Thackeray was an extremely influential man in Maharashtra, especially in Mumbai. He and his party are considered very radical and Thackeray’s death is very emotional for his followers. For this reason Mumbai has shut down for a couple days. No buses, taxis, rickshaws, and local businesses have all closed. If anyone is one the road or has a business trying to stay open, there is a good chance that the members of the party will riot. I’ve been told to stay inside the hotel today for fear that I’d receive some negative attention.

read more

Posted by on November 18th, 2012 No Comments

Translations and Fraternities

Last night at dinner I was making my way around the dinner buffet, checking out to see what was on the menu. I pass by one hot plate with a little sign that says “Vegetable wrapped chicken.” I thought that sounded interesting enough. But when I opened the plate and looked inside, I found chicken wrapped vegetables. I was joking with one of the managers about it and he said that he blames it on English. He said that Hindi is simple because there’s only one word for everything, unlike English. He used the example of the word “bar” being used in so many contexts. True story.

read more

Posted by on November 17th, 2012 1 Comment

Diwali

It was fun celebrating Diwali in India. The decorations were amazing. So many lights set up all over the city. It was like Christmas on steroids. Everyone gives out sweets and gifts. At night I took a drive around the city to see all the decorations. Really something.

The one thing I could have had less of was the fireworks. No, these are not professionally put on fireworks. This is everybody and their brother going outside and lighting off roman candles and other ear shattering loud fireworks. Even four year old kids are outside with no supervision lighting them off. Very different than in the US.

read more

Posted by on November 15th, 2012 No Comments

Diwali Eve

The day before Diwali, many people dressed up for work. When I say many people, I mean mostly the ladies and myself. The employees told me that I looked like a local. I may post the picture of me in a Kurta eventually…

The employees played some interesting games. The first was like a Bollywood rap battle between the men and the ladies. Then they played Hindi charades. I was of little help for both games.

Posted by on November 15th, 2012 No Comments