Birthday in India

On Sunday I spent the day doing more sightseeing. I visited Cubbon Park which was nice, but nowhere near as cool as Lalbaugh Park. Then I visited St. Mary’s Basilica and walked around Ulsoor Lake for a while.

Today I celebrated my first birthday in India. I spent the day riding on the back of my colleague’s motorcycle as we visited customers. The best way to travel. We had lunch at a restaurant where instead of plates, you eat your food on giant leaves. Pretty interesting.

The hotel was nice enough to give me a few goodies on my birthday.

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Posted by on August 27th, 2012 No Comments


I left the Royal Orchid Hotel in Mumbai today and flew to Bangalore, where I’m staying in the Royal Orchid Central. It’s a very nice hotel chain.

After getting settled in, I grabbed a rickshaw to visit the Lalbagh Park. The rickshaw I was in was probably the most pimped out rickshaw I have ever been in. The speakers were bumpin’.

Lalbagh Park is gorgeous. It’s so huge that after a while I forgot I was in a huge city. There were nice big trees, rose gardens, bonsai trees, and a big lake. Lots of families were there having lunch or relaxing. The park is also a popular place for young couples to go where they won’t be “judged” by their families.

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Posted by on August 25th, 2012 No Comments

Busy Busy

Things have been busy in the office. I’ve been giving training sessions on public speaking in order to improve employee communication. Today I had a whole room of Indians saying “How Now Brown Cow.”

I tried Indian Subway today. Everything was very similar, although there were some new sandwiches that the U.S. doesn’t have. Jared would be proud. There was another American there, which is always a rare find.

Recently India decided it’d be a good idea to set a temporary limit on the number of text messages you can send. Until August 31st, you can only send 5 text messages per day. Maybe this will lessen the load on bandwidth capacity? Or maybe this will just distract people from the things like the Delhi power crisis and the recent news about how lots of money was lost from selling coal fields cheaply. Who knows?

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Posted by on August 24th, 2012 No Comments


Bakh and I left our hotel early this morning to make our way to Matheran. Matheran is a hill station with great scenic views and great hiking. We took three trains and a taxi up a winding road. They crammed as many people as they could in our taxi. This meant that Bakh was in the middle in the front seat, so he was situated precariously with respect to the gear stick. Our taxi’s speedometer kept jumping up and down, making it impossible to actually know what speed he was going. Nevertheless, he got us to our destination.

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Posted by on August 18th, 2012 No Comments

Independence Day

Independence Day was the other day. Everyone gets the day off and enjoys the day. I tried some Indian sweets called Burfi. At first I thought the name was “Barf.” I’m glad I was mistaken. It’s quite delicious. Very sweet.

My colleagues and I went to my manager’s apartment and cooked dinner. It was nice not eating in a restaurant for a change. My stomach was very happy.

Today I had the opportunity to ride the Mumbai train during the peak of rush hour. It was kind of like an entire mosh pit trying to go through a doorway while another mosh pit was coming through the opposite side of a doorway. I didn’t even half to walk into the train. I just rode the wave of the crowd to get in.

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Posted by on August 16th, 2012 No Comments


Taking the trains here is always a wild time. There are certain stations where 30 people on the train are trying to get out while 30 people on the platform are simultaneously trying to enter the train through the same doors. I’m sure you can understand how hectic it gets. At the stations there are signs that say “please do not spit.” It’s nice they remind people about that.

Many vendors come on the trains when they’re in the stations to sell things. Today a man walked on selling nuts and sunflower seeds. To let people know what he was selling, he’d walk by and say in a very deep voice “seed!” He kept repeating this, which I found very funny.

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Posted by on August 14th, 2012 No Comments

Riots and Rickshaws

The U.S. State Department was nice enough to send me an email saying that there were riots going in in Mumbai today. Apparently hundreds of Muslims gathered in South Mumbai today to protest the violence taking place in Assam. Gotta love denouncing violence with even more violence.

I’ve finally begun to understand how the rickshaw game works. First you approach them and tell them where you want to go. Then they’ll either drive away or say they know where that is (which they often don’t). Then you try to negotiate a price. The difficult thing is knowing when they’ve accepted your offer. This is because they give you a head-bob to motion you to hop in, which often looks like they’re shaking their head no.

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Posted by on August 11th, 2012 No Comments

Govinda Mandals

Ever since I arrived in India I have been having the most wild and vivid dreams. It must have something to do with eating spicy food at night. In the U.S. I remember dreams once in a while, but they’re never that interesting. Here every night is an adventure to try and recap throughout the day.

Today was the Govinda Mandals festival. Different neighborhoods compete against each other for monetary prizes contained in a piñata raised up 30 feet in the air. The teams have to create human pyramids to reach the prize. It should be noted that people are doing this in the middle of busy intersections. Pretty wild.

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Posted by on August 11th, 2012 No Comments

Pune 2

I was on the road all day today, taking rickshaws to visit different dealers and customers. It really is amazing how small some offices are, while at the same time they are very successful. The best part of visiting dealers is that they always offer you tea. I love my chai.

It was a sunny day today. Very nice to be able to enjoy the sun.

I had lunch at a very well-known restaurant that has been around since 1935. My stomach was on edge, so I just had Nan bread and chicken.

After visiting customers, we went to a temple. I had to take my shoes off and then go through metal detectors that were not detecting anything. Inside many people were praying. It was a beautiful place, and of course no cameras were allowed. The entire inside was made of silver and gold.

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Posted by on August 11th, 2012 No Comments


I drove down to Pune with one of our salesmen and dealer today. It was a bit rainy, but the scenery in the surrounding area is beautiful. Much less pollution in Pune than in Mumbai.

We visited three of our customers to see how they’re using our products and if they have any questions or concerns. Fortunately, most people seemed to like our products.

I also got a chance to go to one of the major engineering schools in Pune to do an installation. The campus was in the middle of nowhere, but it was very nice. There were a bunch of puppies gathered together in the main green. I wasn’t sure if that was a mascot, or if people just like seeing puppies before they go to class.

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Posted by on August 11th, 2012 No Comments