Moved Out & Wine Snobbery

The movers have come and gone and I am, officially, living out of a suitcase. It’s high style living! In other news, I hate Bush (big suprise), AOL’s never ending troubles and did you know that in Australia they spell Syrah as Shiraz, even thought it’s the same varietal? My plans for the rest of this week invovle hanging out with Swap, Arthur and John on Friday, celebrating my dad’s birthday on Saturday, moving to Sunnyvale on Sunday and starting work on Monday.

New Tires for the Car

Today I bought a full set of Dunlop Sport A2’s to replace the OEM Firestone. They’re a bit louder than the old equipment but they have much better traction and I can now acutally corner at speeds higher than 20 MPH. In other news, my movers are coming tomorrow to move my stuff to the Bay Area.

Guess who’s back? Back again. I’m going going, back back to Cali cali. Enough with that. I’m back in California, after a 50 hour journey back from New Delhi. I got in to LAX yesterday around 3pm, although when we landed we learned that we didn’t have a gate to dock at so we sat on the tarmack for an hour. Exciting, huh? I’m in San Diego, where I’ll be until Sunday.

After Mumbai we went down to Madras for 2 nights to go visit Tiriputi, the temple of our family deity. That was quite a ridiculous experience. Apparently, it’s the richest temple in India, and attracts millions of people to visit it. On average, people have to wait in line some 24 hours to see the ‘idol’. However, if you have money and pay for a time slot, your wait is cut down to something like a couple hours. (we did the latter) People have been known to wait in line 2 to 3 days. In addition to such a ridiculous line, devotees just throw money at the temple. They have income of over a million a month in donations alone. Rich, poor and the middle class all just donate huge sums in hopes that ‘god’ will grant them their wish. There’s a story of a father who held is son up to drop in the money in the hundi (that’s the donation pot), and dropped the son in by accident. The temple claimed rights over the child, saying the child was given since he went into the hundi. After two years of a legal battles, the temple and family now have joint rights on the child. India is a strange place. After Tiriputi, the next day we went to Mahabalipuram, which is where a whole lot of statues and temples from around the 6th and 7th century are preserved in a UNESCO world heritage site. Very cool. While there, I bought a stone statue of Ganapathi (Ganesh) that was hand made for $3.00. The same day we departed for New Delhi, where we currently are, staying with my aunt. We’re here for another 8 days, and most likely will be doing some sight seeing of Delhi and perhaps taking a trip to Jaipur.

I’ve spent the last two days in downtown Mumbai at my uncle and aunt’s place on the 12th floor of this phat flat. Finally found a camera charger in this dingly little gully, so I’ll be able to take pictures again and post when I’m back. Mom and sister did a lot of shopping and I learned that 0.5 caret diamonds (and below) are ridiclously cheap in India, about half the price they are in America because they’re cut here. We went out to a nice dinner at Khyber in downtown before heading back last night to Santa Cruz (where my grandma lives). When we got back I saw off my uncle and his family as they headed off to Sri Lanka for some sight seeing. Tonight we’re heading to Madras to say with some distant relative as a home base to visit some south Indian temples, such as Tiriputi. From there it’s on to New Delhi to stay with my aunt there, where my paternal grandparents are as well until the 22nd.

Also, of note, I’ve (well not really me, Jason and Kyle) have found a home in Sunnyvale that we’ll be renting starting August 1st.

Hung out in Mumbai today. I left the camera charger for my digital camera back in the States, so my uncle, father and I’ve been looking and trying to locate where we could buy a replacement here. Been difficult so far, but we’re going to try in the Fort area of Mumbai tomorrow. Mumbai is great, it’s such a living city. The streets are packed with rickshas and cars all through the day, the street vendors are open late on Sundays and everybody is out and about (including the unfortunate homeless). My sister and I went out with my cousin Shraddha today to do the Mumbai college scene, which was walking down near the beach, going to a pastry shop, then checking out this new juice bar. Masta!

Hello all from Mumbai! I’m here after arriving late last night and will be here for about another week or so. All is well, my family is spending the time at my grandma’s here, and it’s a very sentimental reminder of much of my childhood lifehere. Mumbai is much what I remembered, lound, noisy, polluted and full of people.

Hi all! I’m at LHR (London Heathrow Airport) waiting for my connecting flight to Dubai. I’m using some strange Samgsung laptop in a demo booth from which I’ve telneted into sdcc15.ucsd.edu, and from there ssh’ed over to hsrd99.ucsd.edu and using Lynx to update my blog. We’ve been traveling for about 14 hours now, and it’s a 6 hour flight to Dubai. We spend a day or so there before we head to Mumbai. We flew Virgin Atlantic on our way here and are flying Emirates from here to Dubai and Mumbai. Virgin is a very wacky airline, the whole interior was decked out 1970’s-esque, a la Austin Powers. I forgot what it’s like to fly on not the cheapest carriers possible. Thank you mom and dad!