Cake Mixing

The hotel I stay in often holds special events for its guests staying long term. On Saturday there was a Christmas cake mixing social. They lined up all of the ingredients on a table that we would soon mix up ourselves.

The beautiful presentation did not last long as everything was soon dumped on to a table for us to mix up. They even handed out aprons, gloves, and chef hats for us to wear. There were so many spices and booze mixed together that the smells were amazing. Sugar, cinnamon, ginger, red wine, liquors, and much more.

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Posted by on November 11th, 2012 No Comments

Fish, Trains, and Groundhog Day

Recently I visited a trade expo on aquaculture. There were many fish tanks with some pretty cool fish. They even had those small fish that eat all the bacteria off your skin.

Yesterday I took the trains to visit customers. Even though it was late in the evening, there is still a crazy amount of rush on the trains. I was in one of the sleeper compartments. There’s really no room to comfortably sleep when somebody’s crotch is right in your face.

Diwali is fast approaching, so decorations are everywhere. I’ve been told that Monday in the office everyone will be wearing traditional dress. Looks like I’ve got some shopping to do!

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Posted by on November 9th, 2012 No Comments

Sushi and Tattoos

On my last day in Goa I had lunch in a nice sushi restaurant. When my waiter saw that I was eating alone, he brought over a fishbowl to “keep me company.” I felt like Steve Martin in the movie Lonely Guy. Nevertheless, the fish were good company. I’m not sure they enjoyed watching me eat their friends though. Delicious, delicious friends.

On my flight back to Mumbai, I was sitting in the same row as a man with several strange tattoos on his arms. This included Casper the ghost, Johnny Bravo, and some Chinese characters. My personal favorite was an enormous image from the movie Ratatouille.

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Posted by on November 5th, 2012 No Comments

Fun in the Sun

My colleague and I took a tour of Southern Goa. The water was perfect. I kept trying to convince my colleague to join me, but he was reluctant.

The beach wasn’t too crowded which was good. There were many foreigners, especially Russian tourists. There were also big groups that were enjoying the beach.

We also took a trip to an aquarium which had some fish that I had never seen before. I think the coolest thing they had were alien-looking lobsters.

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Posted by on November 3rd, 2012 No Comments

Odd Beliefs

I was out to lunch today with one of our dealers at a local restaurant. By local, I mean you ate with your hand. Today I was in the mood to use a spoon though. Our dealer tried to convince me to eat with my hand because “you will create more saliva in your mouth to digest your food better.” Somehow, I don’t see the correlation. I think that’s just one of those things your parents or grandparents tell you that you go on believing forever. I’ll admit I was guilty of something along the sames lines. Up until age 18 I did not know that potatoes were vegetables.

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Posted by on October 31st, 2012 No Comments

Goa

I’m staying in the capital city of Goa called Panjim. It’s a very nice walking city that is so tropical. The humidity is insane! I’ve been guzzling down water without the slightest need to use the bathroom.

On Saturday I arrived midafternoon and walked around the city. There are many interesting shops, restaurants, and hotels all around. I’d say the highlights of the day were enjoying some fresh sugarcane water and poking my head into all the little shops. I found a Baskin Robbins here which was quite surprising.

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Posted by on October 28th, 2012 No Comments

Finding a Customer

It’s very difficult to go somewhere that you’ve never been to in India. This is because there is no such thing as an address. Everything is done with landmarks. I love reading somebody’s business card and see that their office is located “behind the temple.”

Yesterday I was out with my colleague trying to find the office of one of our customers. We had to ask for directions multiple times before eventually finding the right place.

I always enjoy watching the traffic police attempt to direct traffic on the roads. Most of the time their efforts are futile since people just whiz by them. Today I saw a motorcycle run a red light and the traffic cop tried to punch him.

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Posted by on October 26th, 2012 1 Comment

Festival Fun

One of my favorite things about working in India is getting visit customers during festivals. There are always very elaborate decorations set up.

Today at my hotel one of the staff members presented me with a leaf from a bush. She explained that it is supposed to represent giving gold. Apparently long ago there was a king who wanted to give all of his people gold. But since he didn’t have enough, he gave them leaves to symbolize gold. I think that sounds like a terrible consolation prize. But, it is a nice gesture.

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Posted by on October 24th, 2012 No Comments

Dandiya

For the next few days there is a festival celebrated in India with respect to the state of Gujarat. Gujarat traditional clothes and food are prepared and people dance, dance, and dance some more. I got invited by one of the hotel workers to join their staff party. It was a blast.

There were about 200 staff members as well as family members there. Many people were dressed up. I hung out with some of my favorite waiters.

Just like at your stereotypical junior high dance, nobody wanted to be the first one on the dance floor. Everyone sat down and ate, waiting for somebody to make the first move.

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Posted by on October 20th, 2012 No Comments

Dealer Dinner

Last night I went out to dinner with my colleague and one of our dealers. He took a liking to me so he wanted to make sure I went to a “famous” restaurant in Nagpur. Apparently the translation of famous here is food that’s prepared in a sanitary way. So, famous food is fine by me.

On the way we hit a lot of traffic from the festival going on now. Music was blasting and people were crowding the streets laughing and dancing. Indians definitely know how to have a good time.

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Posted by on October 20th, 2012 1 Comment