Thursday, November 13, 2008

Smelly Shoes

Been a couple of days since I posted.  We have been extraordinarily busy and work has been intense with our offshore team.  By the time we get back to the hotel, we're usually burnt and just want to pass out.  A few observations from the last few days:


  • Alejandra talked about some of her travels to places like NYC and Japan as it pertains to you being able to be anonymous and "hiding" in a crowd if you want to, even though you are surrounded by a lot of people.  India is *not* one of those types of places.  You are never anonymous or hidden in this culture.  No matter where you are or what you are doing, people engage you directly with their eyes and talk to you in some form.  If you are familiar with walking in most United States large cities, you can walk around and not interact with anyone if you don't want to, this place is completely the opposite of that experience.  It reminds me of a scene in "Crocodile Dundee" when the main character comes to NYC for the first time and starts walking down the sidewalk and is trying to say hello and talk to every person he sees and the people are really taken aback.  Such a stark difference in cultural experiences.
  • The best presentations and discussions that have been led have been by women here.  This isn't surprising of course, just noting that it's consistent with my experiences with the Indian offshore groups.  One standout exception was a discussion we had with a data migration group, the men leading that were just excited, experienced, and just plain passionate about the work they are involved in.  That was a really fun discussion just because of their passion.
  • The flight attendants (formerly known as stewardesses) are all hot and model'esk, at least the female ones.  It's akin to the airline industry that the USA had in the 70's.  I don't mind.
  • When it rains here, the cows that litter the roads hide under big trucks to escape the weather.
  • In this part of india, this state, apparently every single meal is ended with eating "yogurt rice" (I don't know the actual name).  They refer to it almost as religious.  It tastes like runny sour cream with soft rice in it.  They eat it to help with digestion and to mitigate the really spicy food.  I don't like it.
  • You only see 1 "breed" of dog in the streets.  They have homogenized their gene pool over time, all over the country so that you really only see 1 breed, no variations.  i.e. You don't see large dogs, small dogs, etc.  Only 1 type of dog, period.
  • The hotels have Cartoon Network, but don't show "Adult Swim" shows.  What the hell is wrong with them?
  • We went to one of my favorite stores here in India - FabIndia.  It's a chain store here that sells clothes, fabrics, tea, etc. that are usually made by hand by coops and such around the country.  The prices are really reasonable and the selections are killer.  I recommend anyone travelling to India to find one of these stores and buy some shit.
  • I can't get any variety of beers here.  If you don't like Kingfisher lager or Heineken, you're shit out of luck.  Ordered a Venezuelan Malbec (red wine) the other night, it was served chilled/cold.
  • My Keens (shoes) are done.  Noting that they stink and when I get home, they are going in the trash.  Annoying to travel with smelly shoes.

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