Monday, October 07, 2002

India Departs.

Trip Day 11
Monday, 10/7, 10:15 pm Chennai Time

Woke up at 3:45am, yes, 3:45am, to get ready for my drive across town, and flight to Bangalore. You know what is happening at 3:45 in India? Same thing that is happening in your hometown. NOTHING. People are asleep, drunks are passed out, dogs are no longer barking, NOTHING is happening. Except every man over the age of 37 is getting up to pee. (That’s why it’s called the WEE Hours of the morning) Only here, it is on a wall outside the house.

So shower up, get dressed, unload the circus bag as much as possible, and go downstairs. The driver is not Mani, but some other guy. I do not know who. He drives like a maniac, honking and swerving and hollering, he is definitely in a hurry to get somewhere. I have no idea why. Along the way, I really notice the traffic signs. In the center divide, there are round, red, informative signs. My favorite is :Beware Dazzling Headlights, reminds me of a topless dancer I used to know.

Anyhow, we make it to the airport after cutting off an ambulance, sideswiping an auto-rickshaw, an promoting general dissaray. I waltz through the terminal, through security, onto the plane and am SLAMMED in the middle seat. No Air Luck for ME! Rough flight out, 30 minutes, get to Bangalore, there is a guy with a sign with my name on it. Amazingly, I am STILL thrilled by this. He brings the car, and while less of a crazed driver than earlier, he is still NO Mani!

Get to the Cisco Offices, Karthik it there, and the floors are covered with newspaper, I bet they thought I would whiz on the floor… Set up, answer emails, catch up, then phone Sara on the magic phone. I hear her voice for the first time in a LONG time, and yeah, it still sounds like bells to me. YAY.

Then meetings most of the morning. I have an opportunity to work with a really smart guy, he just is not wanting to do what we do, and helps out from a sense of ability, rather than job. I also interview a woman who has all qualifications to be “on the team” but she still needs to make decision. Lunch at some fine Chinese restaurant, we have prawns the size of my face. HUGE Shrimp. Then back to work, where I have a “win-win” situation over lab temperature. My man on the ground in Bangalore is great, I wish everyone was as solution focused as he is.

Off to the airport to catch my early flight, I try to photograph some 4-wheel scooters, but my driver is going too fast, and simply tearing through town like a madman. At the airport I sit next to a very wise man, his luggage was entirely books, we spoke about American political policy for quite a long time, and the perceptions of the average man. War is bad, is it really US against terror, or is it finding a viable sea access for oil shipping? That kind of stuff. Very fun, very thought provoking.

My flight has me on an Aisle, on an emergency exit. I should request this on every flight. It is legroom, simply, leg room. Back in Chennai, see Mani’s smiling face at the airport, and I am relieved. Not home, but I know he will not kill me in traffic. Back to the Taj, clean up, and meet Arul & Tanigai for dinner. We go to the Park Sheraton hotel, and eat at their version of Southern Spice, the Park’s Indian restaurant, where I have MORE great food. Banana Dosas, Iddlyappam, veggies in coconut milk, mango veg stew, oh my.

Arul is tired, so he heads home, and Tanigai and I take an autorickshaw ride to the beach. Chennai has the second longest beach in the world I am told. I do not know how it compares to Padre Island, but it is long. I Instantly regret forgetting my camera, there are stacks of fishing boats, like the one I show photo of, but new and bigger, that people are still using today. Very cool.

We ride up through town and go to Snow Bowl. Barefoot bowling is difficult, and my shoulder is totally blowed out for some reason, I stink on ice, but it is fu to play, and Tanigai is very good. It is fun.

http://www.zatang.com/locals/cityc/chot17.htm

http://www.chennaionline.com/toursntravel/cityguide/hangingout/snowbowling.asp



Walk back to the room, and go to sleep early, tired and sober as a churchmouse. YAY!




Tripped over this site:
http://travel.indiamart.com/tamil-nadu/cuisines/south-indian-cuisine.html

with menus and food shots. “Filter Coffee” yeah, check it out!

>>>>>

Bidet Info from my pal Vikram, who is obviously amused at me being here:

Some reasons on why people prefer bidets over paper: (obviously from a
Bidet manufacturer's website http://www.gobidet.com/bidets.html)

For one, you do not get a one-year warranty when you buy a roll of Toilet paper; nor do you get an installation kit! And then there is the added bonus of not having the proverbial "toilet paper from the top or bottom?" argument.

Check out Tushy Clean at http://www.juscuzz.com/ They claim that it is "Positively great for hemorrhoid relief."

Adopt a Healthy Habit
* Attachable bidet system transforms your toilet into a bidet.
* An improvement on personal hygiene.
* A healthy habit for the whole family.
* Cleansing with water is more comfortable.
* Easy to install on all standard commodes.
* Installation kit included.
* One-year warranty.




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