Wednesday, September 26, 2001

ok ... back to business. our inverter sucks but at least there are enough electricians in town to get quick service.
it's 6:30pm. I'm in the dark in my flat because the electricity is blown. for whatever reason the inverter refuses to work. weird thing is that the a/c keeps coming in and then going out. this couldn't have happened at a worse time because i was about 75% done with packing but now I'm at a standstill until the lights come back. urrrrr.

what i was going to say ... before we lost power ... was that it's weird getting on a plane heading to the US. I haven't really let myself think about until now. now that I have no choice but to think about it I'm not too thrilled. it's scary if you let it be. well they invented a cure for this type of problem a long time ago, it's called cocktails. I'm sure I'll be taking what the doctor ordered very soon. :^)

Ok, gotta run. In case bad things happen out there I'm flying British Airways from Delhi to London to SF. It's too dark to check the flight number but the flight leaves here around 1:50am from here; get's into London around 6 or 7am. Leaves again around 10 and finally arrives in SF at 2:35pm. I'm sure that was unnecessary but then I haven't had a cocktail yet so don't blame me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

These kids were talking in the streets of Jaipur, I took this from the car when driving by. It seems to tell a story, wish I could have found out more about the story.
I was feeling kind of sick today. General cold symptoms ... sore throat, ear ache, congestion. I hope I can get over this before I fly out tomorrow night.
More elephant photos:

Here's a shot of me grabbing the tusk of Pinky the Elephant. I had just stepped out of my car, had only about 1/2 cup of coffee in me, and this was the first thing I did that dayHere pinky get's ready for me to climb on top of him for the ride. It's weird watching an animal that large get into this position, doesn't seem natural but I suppose it must be. Elephant's have to sit too!
Thought it was time for some new photos. This another shot from my Elephant Safari, this woman was just hanging out by herself in the middle of nowhere:

Monday, September 24, 2001

I've got my airline tickets for the wedding almost closed. My original flight had me flying east on Singapore Airlines but since I am now planning on stopping off in London on my return (a client I work with is based there) it made sense to change it around and fly west on British Airways. I arrive SF 5 minutes after Amy's flight arrives! I can't wait.
Got my hair cut today. Wasn't that a song by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young? Oh that's right ... the song was "Almost got my hair cut today". Maybe I should have listened to it before I went. I've had the same person cut my hair for 5 years so it was a shock to have someone else do it. Ah well. Guess I'll either grow to like it or grow out of it.
Whoa. It's fall here in Denver. Just like that. Actually, it's still supposed to be 80 degrees today, but it feels brisk, and Pam and I drove to Aspen yesterday to see the trees changing color. They were really amazing. Pictures to come as soon as I can get the external drive for the memory cards to work with NT. :(

Only a few more days until Ken and I meet up in SF!! We'll be staying with Jon and Jill for the nights that we're not in Napa, and I'm hoping that we can do a little wedding registry on Thursday. It may be the only time that we're back in the US together before the wedding. Can't wait to see Ken! And our Bay Area friends. :)

Saturday, September 22, 2001

When I was a kid in Ireland I had a favorite breakfast cereal. I'd swear that it was called "Alpen" (Mom or Dad can you confirm?). In any case, if it was indeed Alpen, I am happy to say that after all those years I have been finally reunited with my favorite breakfast cereal and we plan to spend breakfast together tomorrow morning. :^)
Yahoo! voice chat actually works between US and India (and pretty well I might add). I had heard it was illegal and had been shut down by Indian government. I guess it still might be illegal but it isn't shut down.
I miss US super markets! They really are super. In India they only have markets. They are an experience, and for the experienced I'm guessing you can navigate the maze of shops and find what you want. For the rank amature it is a haphazard, seemingly random collection of shops, shacks, and roadside vendors. Don't get me wrong, I'm still loving India but there is something to be said for shopping for food in football stadium sized containers.

Monday, September 17, 2001

Things haven't been too exciting here in Denver. Last week was kind of a blur for me, as I'm sure it was for many people. I feel very lucky to have flown a day before the hijackings; otherwise, I could have been stuck in Frankfurt with no real way to communicate with anyone. Very scary times.

I finally got a cell phone last week. The number is 303.241.5685, and it's the best way to get in touch with me right now. My desk phone is (303) 390-3494.

It's snowing at 12K feet here, but luckily that's just rain in downtown Denver. I did a little shopping this weekend, so I'm able to stay warm, but my mom is going to have to send me a winter coat soon! Ken's also kindly volunteered to bring me some winter clothes when we meet in Napa.

I'm trying to enjoy Denver, but I miss Ken and our home in India, and I can't wait to get back.

Yesterday after dinner I went up to the roof deck to relax. When we first got to Delhi it was just too hot to really hang out up there but now it is beautiful at night. So anyway, I went up there and our cook and her whole family was up there hanging out. I was trying to decide how to feel about it. In one way I felt like they were invading my space but at the same time I felt like I was being pretty selfish. They have a little room with poor ventilation and the roof deck is rarely used. I decided not to say anything.

BTW, the picture on the left has nothing to do with paragraph above. This is from our trip to Jaipur. Along the way we noticed many women carying things on their heads. I felt these two women made a good photograph due to colorful garb and interesting payload but was unable to excape the fact that I was in the car so the bottom of the photo is obstructed by the car's windshield.

Friday, September 14, 2001

Yesterday was Amy and my official 3 year anniversary although we celebrated it last weekend (god that seems like a long time ago) because of her trip to the US. I'm sure most of you know that she made it safely to Denver before the bombings, but in case you didn't know, she's fine. I've got my fingers crossed that I can still fly back to the US in two weeks for Becky & Carlos's wedding but I don't have a good feeling for how likely that flight is.
I'll always remember exactly where I was when I found out. I'm sure you will too. I only hope we can steer away from massive bloodshed. That's not to say that some bloodshed isn't now necessary, I think it is, but we need to act with logic and wisdom not just emotion and fear.

Monday, September 10, 2001

So I'm back in Delhi now but Amy is somewhere in the air flying back to the US. She'll be in Denver for work for 5 weeks! We both know it makes sense from a work perspective and it could have been worse but it's still really a bummer ... I miss her already. The only saving grace is that I am flying back to the US myself in three weeks to head to Napa for Becky & Carlos' wedding. I'll only be there for a few days so it should be a bit hectic but I'm totally looking forward to seeing Amy and bay area friends.
Here are some more pictures with short descriptions:

View from countryside near Jaipur. This is taken from the back of "pinky the elephant" and was the starting point for the safari (mentioned below)Two of the kids who I met at the end of the Elephant safari as they pressed their faces into the car window. I stuck my tongue out at them and then I was off. :^)As we were leaving Jaipur I told the driver that I was bummed that I hadn't gotten any Camel pictures yet. They were all over but I'd seen most of them from the car and I had no good photos. He mentioned that it was probably too late but sometimes you can see Camel herds being brought back to the border towns. The border people migrate out of the desert during the summer but head back in late August/early September. Anyway, we got lucky and ran into a camel herd of about 150 Camels!Amy's red hair got a lot of attention when we were visiting an old fort on our way back from Jaipur. The man in the picture appeared to be a teacher and he asked if he could take pictures of Amy with the children. Each child took turns getting pictures taken and finally we took this group photo.

On Sunday, while still in Jaipur, we had planned on getting up early and taking an elephant safari. Unfortunately when we woke up Amy had a migraine so only I went. It was pretty fun. Honestly the terrain that we covered wasn't anything too special but I'd never ridden an elephant before. I think the most fun I had was when I dismounted the elephant. There was a group of children who had gathered to see the funny white man. They were all smiles and although they didn't speak English we were communicating at some level. I asked them if they'd like to be in a photograph. They recognized the word and were quite excited to be involved. We took several pictures, made funny faces at each other, and had a great time. Before I got into the car one of the kids reached out a hand. He might have been looking for a donation of money, this is pretty common, but it didn't seem clear that that was really what he was looking for. I shook his hand and immediately all the children wanted to shake my hand. It was a blast and it was nice to see so many children so genuinely happy.

Looking at the picture to the left ... the elephant's name was Pinky. The guy riding him didn't speak english at all but seemed to know a lot. The guy next to the elephant was the guide and spoke good english, walking beside the elephant the whole time and occationally taking my camera so that I could have pictures of myself on the elephant. The little girl in the forefront was one of the village girls who was so eager to have her photo taken
So we went to the Oberoi resort in Jaipur. Wow! It was amazing. I guess president Clinton stayed there a couple years back but staying there makes you feel more like royalty than a president. It felt like there was 5 staff to every guest but in a good way. They weren't obtrusively in your face asking you if you wanted this or that all the time (unlike the Ruby Tuesdays in Delhi we went to where I think the young Indians waiters are fed a diet of speed and andreneline ... talk about annoying, I'd rather have "bad service"). At the Oberoi, it felt like someone was invisibly watching you and if they could help you they appeared quickly to help out. At one point the man at the front desk asked if we'd like to have some sun tan lotion delivered to our room. I said sure. He said, "it will be done". I asked him, "don't you need my name or room number?" He responded, "No Mr. Ken, we all know your name." It turned out not to be an exaggeration.

Tuesday, September 04, 2001

It's too late to say much but since I've been so bad about posting recently I wanted to put something out there. Amy and I are trying to decide on what to do the next two weekends. Initially we were thinking of doing a camel safari but it looks like the desert will still be to hot this time of year. We'll definately do this as soon as it cools down. It now looks like the following:

  • This weekend go to Agra and check out the Taj Mahal
  • Next weekend celebrate our 3 year anniversary in Jaipur. Apparently the Oberoi hotel there is amazing! Breakfast in bed, sunken marble tubs, satellite TV, 32 acres of beautifully landscape grounds, full spa. Friends of ours went last weekend and barely left the hotel.

Monday, September 03, 2001

Ken and I have started to collect a few items with which to decorate our apartment. We found a set of three elephants that are made out of rice paper (like paper mache but smoother and more detailed) and painted black with a gold pattern. We'll post a picture later - they're so fun! We also found a couple of wall hangings that are brightly colored and beautifully embroidered. Gotta love that Dilli Haat (translation: Delhi Market)! We found patio furniture there, too, which we can start to enjoy now that the temperature is starting to cool off.

Gotta get home and have some dinner made by our wonderful cook! I didn't realize how much I was missing veggies until she started cooking for us. Mmmmmm....