Procrastiblog

July 23, 2006

Shimla

Filed under: India — Chris @ 6:25 am

Who knew there would be rain and fog in the mountains during monsoon season? Cooling our heels here in Shimla for another 24 hours before we try moving to Kalpa, another 1,000 meters up, because we slept in and missed the bus. Enjoying curry and pooris for breakfast and samosas for lunch. Walked up a very steep hill yesterday to see nothing but fog and monkeys. Walked down with a nice boy who wanted nothing from us and even paid our bus fare.

And I am not blogging Hillearys freak out on the train. (Ask me over a beer sometime.)

July 21, 2006

Points North

Filed under: India — Chris @ 2:54 am

Blogging will be light-to-nonexistent for the next two weeks as we set off for points North: Delhi, Shimla, Jaipur, Agra… The usual suspects mostly. We’ll check in at odd Internet cafes along the way, but we may still be keeping the world safe for freedom and the tubes may be narrow. A happy, sweltering July to you all.

July 20, 2006

Virtually Singapore

Filed under: India — Chris @ 9:09 am

Adding to H’s previous post, one perplexing detail is I have been able to access the blog from work all week. This is because, through some routing trickery or other, MSR connects to the Internet via Singapore. So, if you want to plan a terrorist attack in India using a blog, join MSR*. If you want to chew gum** and surf the Internet at the same time, stick with Airtel.

* This is very, very obviously a joke. I have no desire to see the Indian version of Guantanamo.

** OK, that was supposed to be a lame throw-away Singapore chewing gum ban reference, but this is too weird not to point out: there is an exception to the Singapore law for “therapeutic” gum. There is also a proposal to allow the importation of small quantities for personal use!

Ridiculous

Filed under: India — Chris @ 3:54 am

This is weird. We haven’t been able to read anything on Blogspot or Typepad on the internet connection in our apartment for a couple of days, although we could post just fine. We thought it was just a strange and irritating glitch. But apparently it’s because Indian ISPs have been instructed by the government to Block Blogs. You know, to fight terror! Um, okay.

Help, help, we’re being repressed!

(If you’re in India and having this problem, go here.)

Update: It was just a misunderstanding, says the Indian consulate in NY! ISPs were told to block Some blogs, and instead blocked All blogs. To be fixed soon, they say. So dumb, the entire thing.

July 19, 2006

Exit Tobi, Enter Pain

Filed under: India — Chris @ 2:49 pm

Last night was Tobi’s last in Bangalore. He’s off to Delhi to stand outside the Pakistani embassy for four days in the rain*. A bunch of us went out to Opus to bid him farewell. Tobi is a lot of fun; I will miss him.

Tobi

When we left Opus, we went back to the office and set up some drums on the roof. Then we jammed.

Jamming on the roof

After jamming a while, we started playing with the kickboxing equipment. I put on some boxing gloves and hit this punching bag about as hard as I could.

Punching Bag*

Turns out the punching bag is filled with sand and has been sitting on the roof for months. So it’s filled with wet sand. Which might as well be concrete. My hand hurt.

It hurt really bad actually. But I could move my fingers and everything, so I figured I was OK. But when I went to work this morning and tried to type, I couldn’t really do anything without wanting to cry. Prasad recommended a doctor.

The Doctor Examines the Patient

Who recommended an X-ray.

Right Hand X-Ray, Oblique

It seems I may have a hairline fracture near my wrist. She prescribed an Ace bandage and some Extra Strength Tylenol. The total cost for my visit, X-ray, bandage and all, was Rs 620 (about US $14).

The Hand, The Bandage

Now I’m all better. Except I can’t use my damn hand.

* By choice. He wants to travel through Pakistan**.

** Also by choice.

July 18, 2006

Mamallapuram

Filed under: India — Chris @ 2:31 am

Goats in the cargo-rickshaw

The land of stone carvers and goats and white people. Photo set here.

[UPDATE] I was hoping to see temples under the sea, but according to the student-just-practicing-English-who-wasn’t-a-guide-and-wasn’t-selling-anything, they are only visible in May, when I guess the sea level subsides somewhat. There are even more temples which only became visible after the 2004 tsunami.

July 17, 2006

Accentuate the Positive

Filed under: India — Chris @ 5:46 pm

Hilleary says all I ever do on the blog is bitch and Tobi says I have ruled out every possible mode of transportation, so let me take a moment to talk happy about transport…

Air Deccan sucks, but both Jet Airways and Indian Airlines were quite pleasant. Indian Airlines actually served a meal on our one hour flight: the cart rolled down the aisle soon after we levelled off and they picked up the trays just before we descended for our landing. And the meal was pretty good too.

The online reservation system for Indian trains sucks and the arrival/departure information in the stations is usually lacking, but the trains themselves are not too bad, especially if you skip the riot scene in steerage and go for an A/C car. The 2nd class sleeper cars are surprisingly acceptable, though by no means luxurious.

As long as you can communicate where you want to go and keep an eye out for any idiosyncratic route changes, autorickshaws are a servicable means of transport. (Even if they screw you, it’s usually cheaper than the NYC subway.)

I have nothing nice to say about the buses.

Air Deccan: Unacceptable

Filed under: India — Chris @ 4:06 pm

The cancelled our first outgoing flight, then they rescheduled our make-up flight. So we set out about eight hours later than we had planned. Then they delayed our return flight. Twice. By a total of about six and a half hours*.

In fairness, in every case we were informed of the change before we had left for the airport** (by SMS, to boot). And the flights themselves were not as unpleasant as I had been led to expect. I saw no rats on board, for example. And I did not have to throw any elbows to secure an unreserved seat.

Still, I shan’t be flying them again.

* Here’s customer service for you: our flight was delayed so much that it took off after the next Air Deccan flight to Bangalore. Which we were not informed existed, much less offered a seat on.

** If H and I had spend 8 hours in the Bangalore airport, at least one of us would be dead. For sure.

July 12, 2006

Potty Humor

Filed under: India — Chris @ 5:58 pm


Healthful and helpful signs
Originally uploaded by PinkHamsters.

Tee hee

PDDP Milk Booth

Eating Garbage

Filed under: India — Chris @ 5:50 pm

Prasad: “They’re not eating garbage. They’re eating food that people have thrown away.”

Jerry Seinfeld: “Adjacent to refuse is refuse.”

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