I received a call late on Friday night from an Indian friend inviting me to join him and some friends for a weekend camping trip in an area called Reishikesh, in the Himalayas. Physically I knew I should decline because I was still getting over a bad cold, but emotionally I needed it. My…Details
First of all, my apologies to my wonderful hair stylist back home in the states! Unfortunately it had been way too long since I got my hair colored, cut and styled and I knew I had to do something about it. So I visited a few salons and decided on one owned by a young hip looking Asian fellow just a couple blocks away from our hotel. He wears his blond hair in a man bun and looks pretty progressive, so I decided to give him a try.
My appointment was at 10:00 and I arrived 5 minutes early to find him and his staff outside smoking. Most people smoke here. Since the smog is so bad I think they figure there’s nothing to lose. Obviously he and his staff were on “Indian time.” Everyone is consistently late here for everything. He finished his cigarette and then unlocked the front door and asked me to take a seat.
The first thing I noticed was that he had 8 guys (all very young) working in about a 300 square foot space. One started sweeping, one started looking through my hair, one brought me bottled water and the rest stood there and stared at me. The owner brought me a book of hair colors and I pointed to the one I wanted. Then Ramm (the guy touching my hair) asked me to sit in one of the stylist chairs. I could feel myself sweating already as the tension took over. I mean it’s my hair!!! What if they screwed it up!?Details
I had the best Super Bowl party ever, well aside from the Seattle Seahawks being in it! I asked our hotel if we could stream it in the executive lounge on a tape delay for my project team and they eagerly agreed. The live game would have been 6:00 AM our time so we…Details
Recently I had the pleasure of being an honored guest in an Indian home. One of our Indian colleagues asked us to join him, his wife and their one year old son for brunch. I did some quick research on customs and culture but you never really know the credibility of the stuff you read…Details
Dealing with the constant stares here in India is taking an emotional toll on me. I had hoped it would stop by now, at least with the crowds I see on a regular basis. But alas, it continues. In fact, the longer I sit in one place, the more the crowd grows. It’s as if…Details
Aside from the pollution in Delhi, the next hardest thing for me to adjust to has been the traffic, and I’m quite certain there is a correlation between the two. With over 8 million vehicles a day on the road, the result is like Mr. Toads Wild Ride, a game of Frogger and the worst possible gridlock, all combined into one horrible nightmare. There are very few cross walks, so people just cross traffic whenever, and wherever they feel like. If you hesitate you’re screwed. You just have to do it with confidence, trusting that the traffic will go around you. It’s a new kind of adrenaline rush!
Traffic laws aren’t enforced
The next most notable thing aside from pedestrians crossing everywhere is that there appears to be no enforcement of any traffic laws. A three lane highway becomes five lanes of traffic with everyone squeezing in shoulder to shoulder and honking boldly and often. The honking basically alerts other drivers that the one honking is proceeding so they had better get out-of-the-way. It is non stop and very annoying. Most roads are one way roads, and it’s all too common to see people pull U turns and go the wrong way down a one way street just because they are fed up with traffic. I can assure you that when you see headlights coming straight at you at night on what is supposed to be a one way road, it will make even the most courageous tourist’s butt pucker!Details
Culture shock is always expected when spending anytime in a foreign country, but I have to say that living and working in India has been harder to adjust to than any other country I’ve visited. Everything is different here from traffic to cuisine and sometimes it feels like even the simplest things are a big…Details
I find that I am developing an everyday routine now. It is human nature, things that used to surprise me I hardly notice anymore. So I thought that I would share with you some things I see almost every day in India.
Fruit carts are everywhere. I was warned by locals not to eat any of the fresh fruits and vegetables because I might get sick, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to live a year without fresh fruits and veggies, so I took a risk. I’m glad I did because I haven’t gotten sick to my stomach yet and they are quite delicious. My favorite is fresh guava. They cut it up for you and dip it in salt. Yummy!Details
Doing business in India can be very frustrating. There seems to be an overall lack of efficiency. Indian employees are not encouraged to speak up and to think for themselves. They typically have a very formal relationship with their boss and are expected to blindly follow orders. I find that it requires a good deal…Details
My 15 hour flight from Seattle to Dubai was sheer torture. You know you’re in trouble when after the pre flight loading of families with small children the waiting area at the gate is almost empty! I had demon spawn from hell sitting behind me, a toddler screaming and kicking my seat the entire way.…Details