Jesse’s Blog

Monday, October 29, 2007

GOA!

From Goa_1

I finally did it. I took a trip down to Goa this weekend to hang with Zuko and the RZ2 guys. Even though my trip was shortened (due fully to my own procrastination and a missed flight) we still managed to cram a heck of a lot into 36 hours. I can’t wait to go back.

I was supposed to leave Friday night but due to unforeseen traffic and slipping work deadlines I left the office too late to make my flight. Following over an hour drive to the airport I arrived 15 minutes before the scheduled departure to find that my flight was set to leave on time. Imagine that. A flight on time in India. What bad luck! They put me on the next flight in the morning, but unfortunately that flight DID get delayed by 4 hours and I didn’t arrive in Goa until later Saturday afternoon.

It’s about a 40 minute ride north from the airport to Panjim (the capital of Goa and the city most densely populated with tourists). I was amazed by the views around me on the way there: lush tropical vegetation and rolling hills, set against a canvas of the Arabian Sea and inter-coastal rivers and waterways. There was no funk in the air, and everything was clean and green. I even stopped to take some reference photos of particularly interesting buildings and scenery along the way.

Video – Drive from the airport (~85 MB)

I met up with Zuko across from a nice school campus in Panjim and we waited for Pradeep to powerwalk his way to us from downtown. He showed up at a brisk pace with a pretty spiffy set of mid-shin-high socks and sneakers, and we hopped in the car to head for food.

The first thing that impressed me about Panjim is that it feels like a proper city… with a downtown area, parks, organized structure and facilities, and a pleasant overall disposition to the people and businesses. The second thing that impressed me about Panjim was the fact that I could get a damn good beef burger at the Marriott Hotel, which is the first thing we did!

It’s funny how some of the Indians want to always treat you like a foreigner, even if you have lived here for years. Zuko and I just wanted a quick snack but Pradeep insisted the only place we could go was the Marriott. I would have been fine with some street food or a small restaurant but apparently that wasn’t an option in his mind! It turns out Efford was hanging out at the Marriott pool bar anyway (as he usually does). All of that is really irrelevent, because the only thing that matters was the cheeseburger was AMAZING. Better than most burgers I have had in the States. I was blown away, and after eating it I had to talk myself out of ordering another one.

Video – Zuko, Pradeep and I at the Marriott (~7 MB)

Zuko and I were staying with the RZ2 guys that night so we headed over to their apartment after we spent some time at the Marriott Poolside Bar. We actually went out and had a great time that night, but the end of the Goa story involves me leaving my camera on top of Tony’s car before I left! I have a lot more stories left to tell, but I’m a firm believer in pictures to back up lots of boring writing. :) When I get my hands on the rest of the pics you’ll hear all about our night out to Mambo club, and our trip down to Palolem Beach the next day (where the beginning of Bourne Supremacy was shot). Stay tuned…

posted by Jesse at 7:43 am  

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Case of the Whip Bandit

Solved.

posted by Jesse at 4:06 am  

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Going away party

We had a little going-away bash last night at the Radisson. Half of the remaining team here in India is heading home for the holidays; Tony and Waylon left this morning at 8am. So now it’s just Albert and I, holding down the fort. Dhilip took some close-ups. Notice my scraggly half-beard from a weekend of “crunch mode” at the office.
That last image of Waylon is freaking hilarious. I think we’re going to make it into an ad for our company. He looks confused, angry, and fed-up all at once. Brilliant!

posted by Jesse at 12:20 am  

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Almost Wal-Mart

Last night we took a field trip to New Delhi to what seemed to be the largest mall in India. The name escapes me at the moment, and I left my camera in the car (I wish I had a camera phone). Anyway, there is a store on the ground floor called Spencer’s Hyper. I’m assuming there are smaller versions of this store that are simple called “Spencer’s”. This one was huge.

From the moment we walked in we were all smiles. It was the closest thing to a Super Wal-Mart I had seen since being in the boondocks of Florida. Electronics, appliances, clothes, household goods – and groceries! Lots of them. I was ecstatic to find peanut butter, jelly and sandwhich bread. Tropicana orange juice! Frozen dinners, Pringles, produce, oh my!

Just some of the goodies we picked up at the supermarket.

This morning I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich for breakfast. Not exactly American, but pretty close!

For lunch today we took bicycle ricks over to the Shoprixx Mall (our driver was taking Garland and Chris to buy some computer parts in Sector 18). We enjoyed some Pizza Hut for lunch, and Baskin Robbins for dessert. On the way back, Anthony and I were riding with a kid who, in the U.S., would have still been in school at that time of day. As we attempted to cross a busy 3-lane road the kid couldn’t make it up the incline and traffic was bearing down on us. Tony and I had to leap from the bicycle and run across the road so the poor kid could make it out of harm’s way! Looking back, it was all kind of funny. We paid the kid an extra 10 rupees for the entertainment value.

Lastly, here are some random pictures that you may find interesting:

Whaley and Ronald… friends forever.Waylon in our usual morning hangout (Costa Coffee in Sector 18)A monkey with a pet man.

posted by Jesse at 11:08 pm  

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A world of a difference

Last night we went out to a lounge in the Centrestage Mall in Sector 18. There is a club upstairs that is really hopping on Saturday nights. The line was too long to wait in, but the price was astronomical – rs. 1,500 to get in. That’s about $33 USD! It was amazing to see the people lining up for this thing – it looked like any night in San Diego or L.A. I was used to seeing saris or jeans on women and didn’t think people got dressed up like they did last night! I was sure I had seen none of these people out on the streets at all.

We had a great time in the lounge drinking and ordering great food. We even hit the hooka, though Waylon was definately the poster-child for white boyz in India.

posted by Jesse at 5:40 am  
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