Archive for December, 2006

Not a bad idea

December 28, 2006

A quote from someone I know regarding India:

“They need to spray the entire country with Off insect repellant and Febreze.”

She was slapping mosquitoes off her arm at the time.

Money money money

December 28, 2006

Just talked to my sister. I’m in the process of selling the Accord back in Houston (and yes, it is painful), and it seems I might actually get my original asking price. How often does that happen with Craigslist? I’m just crossing my fingers that nothing happens last minute to screw this up. I am gonna miss my baby, though.

By the way, I can Xanga from work again. Look for me to be posting regularly again. Probably after Goa, though.

Goa, here we come!

December 28, 2006

So, after a damn near magical week, it’s back to reality. And the reality is that tomorrow, we leave for Goa. It’s been a crazy few weeks for travelling, and it’s not done yet. We get back on Monday night. Then, on Jan 6th I go to Mumbai for a day to spend a final few hours with my “phreind” . And Jan 13-15, I’m in Kutch doing some volunteer work. And even that trip was cut down from the originally planned week because I was missing too much time at work. Granted, it’s all been unpaid leave, but it still looks bad, you know?

Incidentally, I calculated that I have damn near 54 hours of television on my laptop, ready to be watched. That’s one hell of a backlog. How sad am I, when I’m actually considering taking my laptop with me to finish off some of my TV? Which reminds me, I promised you all a list of all the TV shows I watch currently. In no particular order:
1. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
2. Heroes
3. House
4. Lost
5. Prison Break
6. Numb3rs
7. Dexter
8. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
9. The Colbert Report

Those are the currently running shows I’m watching. I’ve also downloaded a couple of other shows that aren’t airing currently that I’m watching. These include Star Trek: The Next Generation (I have Season 2 right now) and Spooks , a British show.

I also have Season 1 of Battlestar Galactica downloaded, but I haven’t started watching yet. Plus, there’s a lot more TV queued up that hasn’t been downloaded yet, including Morgan Spurlock’s 30 Days , Penn and Teller’s Bullsh!t , and Mythbusters .

Don’t you wish you were me right now?

And the verdict is…

December 22, 2006

Delhi was fun, and everything in Delhi was awesome too. ; Did some sightseeing while there, since I hadn’t actually been there as an adult. Saw Lal Qila (Red Fort), which definitely deserved more time than was devoted to it. Then took a cycle rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk and visited a really old Jain Derasar in the middle of a really crowded market. Will post a link to its website in a followup post. Finally, got to see Diksha after over 2.5 years, which was great. I’ll say it again Diksha, the main difference between you and me is that I switch accents based on who I talk to. I don’t switch between accents while talking to the same person.

I also discovered that expat employees have an awesome lifestyle after being moved here. You get to be paid an American salary (and if you’re senior enough to get an expat job posting, you’re making some heavy bank), but you have the Indian cost of living. All major expenses are reimbursed by the company. You can get a car and driver at your beck and call 24×7, along with a daily maid and cook. And if you live in one of the major cities, there are usually stores that sell a lot of the consumer products (i.e. Froot Loops ). So, in all honesty, it doesn’t even have to feel like you’re living in India if you don’t want it too. Not a bad deal if you can swing it.

By the way, those of you who know the purpose of my trip to Delhi, look at the first paragraph of this post carefully. See if you can find something odd about it. Look at it from a grammatical perspective.

Patience is a virtue

December 20, 2006

And you guys will have to wait just a little bit longer. In 45 minutes, I’m off to the airport, this time headed for Delhi. I myself have been waiting for this trip for over a month now, and am quite excited about it. More details will probably be provided at a later date. Though, if you’ve contacted me recently, you probably already know about it.

Actually, this should be an interesting visit, since I haven’t been in Delhi since I was eleven. Will probably be a different experience, what with attaining legal age and all. Hehehe…

Wow

December 18, 2006

Seriously, how can you look at this and not get a little emotional?

Events so far

December 14, 2006

After a four hour delay taking off from ;Vadodara (our plane left Delhi late because of fog), we finally made it to Mumbai on Tuesday evening, just in time for the Sangeet Sandhya . For those of you unfamiliar with the whole Indian wedding scene, it’s a night of song and dance done before the wedding. Musical performers are usually hired, and family members usually do some dances in honour of the couple. The big difference in the last two weddings we had in the family is that there was some kind of narrative that loosely described the couple and their “love story”, and the songs fit into that narrative somehow. I wasn’t too impressed with the professional singers (they did have very jazzy outfits, though), but I definitely appreciated the effort that went into the dancing. It was entertaining, at least. After those festivities had been concluded, there was some general singing and dancing, where all the family members shook a leg on stage. It was most memorable for me because mom was shaking her groove thang. Why is that a big deal? On Friday morning, she wasn’t even able to walk ten feet from her bed to the bathroom. Today, she’s shaking and moving with the best of them (albeit without actually moving her feet. ) It was still good to see. I guess there might be something to this Pranic Healing after all.

Preceding this was dinner, which consisted mostly of Indian fast food. It tasted good, but led to a few choice comments later about the groom’s father (my mom’s cousin brother) was. Apparently, he has a well-earned reputation for being … parsimonious, which definitely came into stark contrast with the level of catering found at the actual wedding/reception itself, which was paid for by the bride’s family. I’d ended up going to a nearby sports club (the Indian equivalent of a Country Club) with some of the gents and had a few drinks and appetisers, so I didn’t have much room for a proper meal when we got back. That was a decision I regretted, because everything looked delicious, and not your typical wedding buffet. Oh well, lesson learned.

Heading to a school friend’s wedding tomorrow, which is in the same hall as my cousin yesterday. Then, on Saturday morning, I head over to Ghatkopar to see my dad’s relatives. Saum will be there as well, so we’ll finally be able to kick it in Mumbai the way we’d originally envisioned. Let’s see if it lives up to the hype.

Long Weekend

December 14, 2006

I’m in Mumbai at the moment. My cousin got married yesterday (Wednesday), and a school friend is getting married tomorrow (Friday). Coincidentally, both ceremonies will be in the exact same building, which is quite impressive. Also, I accompanied Dad to a business meeting yesterday for a potential new venture that we might get involved in, and that was really interesting. Lot of potential opportunities there, and I might actually want to be involved with that on a more regular basis.

I’ll try to write a more detailed post later today about the trip so far, and anything interesting that’s been going on lately. But the one thing I will leave you with… I saw a billboard for a Vaastu expert who was ISO 9001 certified. Damn thing blew my mind.

Supreme Asskicking

December 7, 2006

For a long time, I’ve wanted to learn a martial art, if for no other reason than to feel reasonably comfortable that if I were placed in a dangerous situation, I could defend myself and my loved ones. But the biggest problem was, none of the more recognised forms (karate, tae-kwon-do, kung fu, etc) go straight to the nitty-gritty. They focus more on form, and discipline, and respect, and blah blah blah. But then, I discovered Krav Maga . Honestly? It looks totally awesome. I mean, look at it . (There’s a video at the bottom of the link.) The entire concept of this fighting style is to defend yourself from the immediate threat, ensure there can be no further attacks, and then neutralise the target. It’s about training the body to respond instinctively, causing the maximum damage in the minimum time. Groin, eyes, headbutts are all kosher. Hell, they’re encouraged. I researched it a little when in the Bay Area, but didn’t think I’d be committed enough to stick with the class. But if I get the chance again, you bet your ass I’m gonna give it a shot. They even have centers in India . Maybe I can sign up for a trial class somewhere while visiting…

Damn Internet

December 6, 2006

For whatever reason, the Internet at work is really wonky, especially when it comes to downloading stuff with Bittorrent. It used to provide a near steady 30 kB/s download rate, which was good enough to get a 30 minute tv show in 100 minutes. But these last few days, it’s gotten really bad, to the point where I barely manage 3 or 4 kB/s for a few minutes. This was especially frustrating, because I saw a Japanese guy downloading the same show at 220 kB/s. And, for some reason, this block only affects my downloading. Regular surfing is fine. I’m guessing they’ve blocked the downloading, somehow. Fortunately, all is not lost, because the connection at home got upgraded to an unlimited data transfer limit. This means I can upload and download as much as I want for one fixed monthly price. Yay! Someday, I’ll actually describe the shows I “acquire”, and let you know what I think, and whether you should give them a shot.