Archive for May, 2014

Working days in Bhopal

May 7, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

The past two days have been productive and tiring. Bhopal 6Yesterday, I had four meetings! Today, I worked from my desk in the room and then went out to collect prices. The data collection has been fairly frustrating but I’m getting through it. In the evenings, I worked out and then went to dinner. I continue to enjoy the dinner buffet.

Love, Annie

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Monday in the Bhopal Mall

May 5, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Hope you are well. After the tiring day of travel, I arrived last night in Bhopal. The drive from the airport is an easy 25 minutes and I was picked up by two hotel staff. The hotel is nicer than expected and I got a room upgrade. photo 1I worked all day today at the Mall near my hotel. I had an interesting experience in the grocery store. I was close to the shaving creams, lotions, and Durex massage oils a guy is kind of creepin’. He comes up to me and asks if I speak Hindi. “No.” He points to the Durex stuff and asks, “You like?” “No.” I thought I heard him mutter something about sex but I was back in the zone already and didn’t pay attention to it. photo 2I was happy that it wasn’t a market employee wanting to know what I was doing. About a 45 minutes later I’m at the sugars and the same guy comes up to me. He asks “You like?” and shows me his phone, on it is some hard core porn video playing. I’ve never said “Get Away From Me” so seriously before. I was not nervous, just disgusted. I didn’t see him after that. Lunch was at a vegetarian restaurant in the mall.

I had a nice work out at the hotel gym after work. After the work out, I had a nice talk with the trainer about nutrition. photo 3I was telling him about my job and mentioned Turkey. He said I think Turkey is really rich in culture. I said, yes, and Turkish cuisine is excellent. He said is that why … and referred to my hips. I said you have to watch it with comments like that. Dinner was regular. There is a buffet and a la carte at the same restaurant and that’s really the only option. I don’t usually like buffets but this one is fine. During dinner I read and beat a level in Candy Crush that was really annoying. Each region of India has different foods, so I’ve been trying a little of everything. I haven’t considered leaving the hotel, it’s fine here. Tomorrow I have some meetings and am looking forward to them.

Love, Annie

Goodbye Kolkata

May 4, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you are having a nice weekend. Mazel Tov to my cousin Lexi on her Bat Mitzvah! I’m sitting outside the Mumbai airport right now. photo 4I have a five hour layover here, and it’s so disgusting. It’s over half over by now. Thankfully, I’ll have only direct flights after this day until I head home in less than three weeks. I’m feeling really tired right now – It’s hard to be enthusiastic on this travel day. photo 3Travel days are hard… especially the ones that take all day. I’m sticky from sweating because it’s so hot out and am really not looking forward to going inside the terminal. I miss my family.  Yesterday, I finished my work and Pawan took me on a sightseeing tour of the city.

photo 1We went first to the Ganges river to see people bathing and purifying. Then we went around the British area and then to a Jain temple which looked like a fairytale palace.

The inside was a mosaic of mirrors. Then we went to a marble palace where an extremely rich family had lived. photo 2Inside the palace there was artwork from so many regions of the world, and gifts to this family from people who visited. For lunch we had Biryani at a restaurant called Arsalan. Everyone knows it as the best Biryani place in town. There was a line but Pawan was able to take me right in because he knows everyone.

photo-1In the afternoon, I swam, worked out, and packed up. I went back to the Chinese restaurant in part because there were no good seats at the other restaurants in the hotel. When I am eating alone (which is almost always, on survey), it’s important to have a good seat and vantage point for people watching. I had a delicious spicy fish dish. I guess I’m looking forward to Bhopal, mainly I’m looking forward to getting through it as I haven’t heard that it’s that fun a place, but I’ll let you know.

Love, Annie

Happy Friday from Kolkata

May 2, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you have a nice weekend. Today I worked from my room in the morning and went out in the afternoon. I went with a driver Pawan who was excellent. He’s from Kolkata, speaks English, and seemed to know everybody everywhere. We went around to key outlets, and also went shopping for fabric for Lev so he can get some shirts made. photoI bargained a little (with some help) and I got some beautiful fabrics at a good price. During the afternoon, we stopped for lunch at a traditional Bengali restaurant.

I had failed to find this exact restaurant after walking around for a while the other day, so I am pleased that we went there. The best thing was the fish wrapped in banana leaf that you can see on the near left. In the late afternoon, I swam more laps, worked out, and did the steam room again. For dinner I gave the Chinese food restaurant another try and it was still not as good as GDH. Looking forward to finishing work tomorrow and to seeing the colonial area of town.

Love, Annie

Happy May Day!

May 1, 2014

Hi Family and Friends,

I hope you are well. Today is May Day, a holiday here in India, but I worked most of the day anyway. I had a meeting in the morning and then worked on my computer until about 3 pm. Kolkata 12Then I had to get out of the hotel to do something, so I went to visit Victoria memorial. This was a great decision. It’s a really cool building and I learned a whole lot about the British Raj. In the late afternoon, I swam a bit and then went in the fancy steam room. For dinner I had traditional Bengali food again, this time prawns in a coconut sauce, fresh mangos, and ice cream of a local flavor. It’s mango season… good time to be here. Looking forward to tomorrow!

Love, Annie