Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Finally mobile

I finally got my car last night.
It's blazing red. I can listen to my ipod in it. I don't have to inhale 30 minutes worth of road fumes while getting to work. Unfortunately, I'm contributing to those fumes. :( Hey I gave the buses a chance (probably not a completely fair chance).

Anyone want to suggest a great web hosting service where I can move this blog (I want to start using movabletype) and host photos as well?

Incidentally, if you aren't using a news aggregator to read this, you need to. Check out bloglines.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Indian Ingenuity

I've wanted to write this entry for a long time but I keep forgetting.

So as far as I can tell, there are two reasons why you'd want a water-faucet that automatically turns on when you move your hands close to it (like in newer public restrooms):
1) So you don't have to touch the faucets that other people have touched after using the toilet,
2) So people don't waste water by accidentally (or lazily) leaving the water on.

When I first went to the public restrooms near work I got all pissed off because the water wouldn't turn on. I looked helplessly to the janitor, who looked at me like I was an idiot and then looked towards the ground.

The restroom sinks here (not all, but some) have foot pedals. That's such an awesome idea. You walk up to the sink and just press your foot down on the pedal. You don't have to touch anything with your hands. And when you're done, the water turns off.

A low cost alternative to IR sensors (that often break) on sinks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Happy Diwali, Eid Mubarak

A little late on the wishes but oh well.

I spent diwali in Pune - it was phenomenal. I left from Bangalore on Thursday afternoon and flew to Mumbai. The flight was terrible. Sitting next to me was an obnoxious little 13 year old Gujju kid from Kuchh. How do I know he was from Kuchh? He informed me. I actually thought he was pretty cute at first. But then a bunch of things started getting on my nerves. First, he was ordering the flight attendants around - no thank you's or please's. That was the big one. Next, he kept interrupting me when I was reading. Next, he kept nudging me when I had my eyes closed and was trying to sleep. Grr.

I then took a prepaid taxi to Dadar TT, which is where one catches busses/taxis to go to Pune. Don't take a Prepaid taxi - it's much, much more expensive than a regular taxi. I got into a CoolCab - a shared, airconditioned Mumbai-Pune taxi. I paid Rs. 420 for 1 1/3 seats (we shared a full cab among 3 people). That was very comfortable and I caught up on all the sleep that I missed on the plane. Because of a slight delay in my flight plus a bunch of traffic en route to Dadar, I ended up reaching Pune late and missed Apte Kaka's (family friend) party.

S came in on Friday morning and Baba and I went to pick her up from the airport. The rest of the weekend is actually a bit of a blur. I spent time with my sister's family and S and my brother's family (they got in on Friday night). I think I made it a point to eat to the point of feeling sick at every meal. Needless to say, I passed out after every meal.

On Sunday night we had a big party at a place called the Harvest Club in Pune. It's a great outdoor location. I walked in needing to go to the bathroom but since everyone wanted to meet S, I didn't get to go for about 30 minutes (until I found someone that S already knew and could leave her with them).

S and I left from Pune on Monday morning. We took an A/C bus to Mumbai for Rs 480 (for the both of us). It was very comfortable except for the extremely loud Hindi movie (Hum Tum) that I was forced to watch. We hung out at the Orchid hotel and had something to eat (curd rice). I met up with an old high school friend there - it was good to catch up on old school gossip. After lunch it was time to fly back to Bangalore and end a wonderful Diwali weekend.

I must say that getting out of bed and into work was tougher than usual this morning.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


In case there are any doubts about the severity of the traffic in Bangalore, let me dispell them. Traffic here sucks.

I got a ride home yesterday with a coworker (Jeyandran) and we spent at least 15 minutes out of a 40 minute ride waiting in traffic with the engine switched off. I did almost the same commute this morning in a three-wheeler and it took less than 10 minutes. It's about 4 km away.

I have been trying hard to figure out how to get around Bangalore. A two wheeler seems so tempting until I think about inhaling all the bus and truck fumes and risking getting run over. In a four wheeler you don't inhale fumes but you're stuck in traffic for twice as long. I thought of cycling but then I be in the same traffic as the two and four wheelers but would be severely underpowered. I tried walking from home in the direction of our new office (haven't moved yet) but I don't think that'll be feasible. There's no direct bus from home to work; I'll have to change buses.

Any suggestions?

Thursday, November 04, 2004


I found an apartment yesterday. It's through a family friend of ours so I don't have to worry about getting screwed over on the rent or anything. In addition, it's fully furnished so I pretty much just have to walk in with my bags.

It'll be a relief to move into a permenant place. I still haven't got my own transportation. I hate taking autos...I'm always wondering if I'm getting screwed or not. Paranoia.

Incidentally if you're in Bangalore, I highly recommend picking up a copy of the Eicher Map of the city. It's awesome and has really helped me get to know the place.

Now all we need is a craigslist and a citysearch for bangalore.

I went to an amazing place for dinner on Vittal Maliya (sp?) Road today. It's a small multi-cuisine place in what used to be a house. I forget the name of the place. I'll find out and post back here.

Monday, November 01, 2004

An interesting introduction to bangalore pubs

The other night (Friday), Vikas and I decided to go grab a quick drink before calling it a night so we ducked into a place called NASA on Church St. First off, the music was ultra loud and the place was tiny. Second, Vikas chose a table directly underneath a large speaker. Just after we ordered drinks, we realized that there was something missing... women. We looked around to see an entire room of guys. Pretty pathetic scene for a Friday night. After yelling loudly over the blaring music and gulping down drinks we decided to call it a night.

Found out later in the weekend that NASA is rumoured to be a gay pickup joint. Welcome to Bangalore.