Jesse’s Blog

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Yesterday was Saumya’s birthday, so I took her to a very nice (“excellent” according to her) dinner at the Italian restaurant in the Hyatt. We had some amazing food, good wine, and a lot of fun, though we did get a little carried away with our photo shoot in front of the water pools and sexy naked statue… Check out some random video from dinner (if you’re bored).

posted by Jesse at 10:55 am  

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Lotus Temple

Lotus Temple

(click for album)

On Sunday Alex, Nelly, Saumya and I went to the Lotus Temple in Delhi. I have passed by it several times and seen it off in the distance many more – but have never stopped to visit. It really is an amazing architectural and spiritual feet, and was completed in 1986. Check out Alex’s pics (right), and read more about it on his blog.

posted by Jesse at 1:33 am  

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Shop till ya drop

Today we headed to Delhi to do some shopping at CP. I’d tell you what that stood for but I really have no idea! We made tentative plans to do this with a few of the people at iEnergizer, but realized that we didn’t know how to contact one of the girls (Christina). She doesn’t have a phone of any sort (house phone or mobile), so we decided to just drive by her place and see if she was there. We were a little skeptical about this attempt, since we didn’t actually know her last name or what unit number she was in (to tell the guards), but we were actually able to breeze right through the gate without talking to anybody.

Alas, to our dismay, she wasn’t home! As we walked back to the car it turns out we were followed by one of the guards (one of the old, senile-looking types who probably spends most of his shift guarding the chair he’s sleeping on). He said something to us in Hindi and threatened us with his broom handle, but we had no idea what he was saying.

We decided to check at the office to see if she was there, but she wasn’t, so we started to head back to Sector 18 with Chris now tagging along. I decided to give our other friend Saumya a call, who works the night shift. It was about 2pm by this point and she was just waking up. She said she would go with us, so we made plans to pick up her and her friend (Minnie) in Sector 19 (which is, believe it or not, right across from 18). Albert and Lara were really happy to finally be heading to go shopping since there was no way we would have survived without some locals to go with us.

This picture is actually from the end of the day, but how would you know?

I haven’t ventured in to Delhi much, especially in daytime, so it was good to see what I have been missing. In general, at least where we went, it’s a lot more organized and a bit more tidy than Noida. Noida is semi-rural – a booming suburb on the edge of the big city that has just as many animals as it does people. We passed by a few really nice parks (unexpected) and some interesting architecture before arriving downtown at our destination! I made a mental note to come back and check those places out some time.

We hopped out of the car and immediately followed Saumya and Minnie to a subterranean entryway. Odd. An underground mall. I was only able to snap this picture before they stopped me and said I couldn’t take any more! I bet it’s because of all the shady goings-on down there:

I didn’t really have a desire to buy anything, but bargaining is kind of fun. For instance, Albert was trying to buy a shirt that was “worth” rs. 500-600 but was on sale for rs. 300. I told the guy this was ridiculous and we’d only pay rs. 150 for it. He started to justify his price when Saumya chimed in and started arguing from a local’s point of view. The guy actually told her to stop talking! I immediately scolded him for telling my friend to shut up and said we were leaving. We barely took 5 steps before he was chasing us down offering to sell the shirt for rs. 150. That really cracked me up!

I did find something I wanted to buy, a camera case for my digi. I must not have bargained so well for myself, because Minnie and Saumya came in and asked if I had “gone mad” for attempting to pay rs. 225 for something that was clearly worth only about half of that price. They dragged me away but the guy didn’t seem to object this time. Maybe the price *was* good? Who knows… I still prefer Amazon.com for shopping but I doubt I’ll see that in India any time soon.

After a few more minutes we went up on the street where I was able to take some pictures. It was a pretty nice day despite the humidity and we shopped for another hour or so before deciding to head back.






We called up Mahender and waited for him in front of Wimpy’s. Wimpy’s sells hamburgers. Or so they say. Often when you see that here in India it’s not *really* a hamburger, but rather some substitute hamburger-textured but not-quite-tasting… thing. There were a few westerners inside (I resisted the urge to stare at the white people), so I walked in and scanned the menu. They did indeed serve “hamburger/cheeseburger”, along with “Aloo Patty”, “Bean Patty”, “Veggie Burger”, “Chicken Burger”… it seemed everything was covered and there wasn’t much else they could substitute in for beef/buffalo. I went and got Saumya and asked if this was for real. Her immediate response was “of course not”, that it wasn’t beef or buffalo. But as she scanned the menu I saw a gleam of doubt in her eye.

“Ask.” I said, and pointed at one of the workers. She sort of looked at me funny but she knew I was dead-serious. This was important. I was getting my hopes up, I could feel it. She popped the question as I held my breath…

DENIED.

Lamb. LAMB! Seriously, what the heck? Don’t call it a hamburger. It’s a lamburger for crying out loud! I tried to explain to Saumya, a life-long vegetarian, why it was so ridiculous to try to pass off a lamburger as a hamburger. She didn’t quite get it.

Next we headed to Ruby Tuesday’s for happy hour in Centrestage Mall. Ruby Tuesday’s is really expensive, so we literally got 2 beers and an order of fries. We thought we might go eat at the Raddison, but first decided to head over to a place called Ice Cubes in Sector 18 to meet up with some of Saumya’s friends. This place was pretty cool, a chill night-club like joint that had a nice decor and decently-priced drinks. We only hung out for a few moments before hunger compelled us to leave for some food, but Saumya decided to stay behind. After dinner Chris and I returned for an awesome time… dancing and singing Hindi songs to which we didn’t know the words (mixed in with the usual Western club thumping tunes). The DJ was actually pretty good and I was completely tired by about 11:30pm. Chris and I headed back to the house while our Indian friends continued their night of fun at a 24-hour place in Delhi. Maybe I’ll try it out some time when I’m not feeling like such an old man!

posted by Jesse at 3:37 am  

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