London Here I come!!

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My new baby!!

So for the last month as we have been driving to lunch I have been falling in love with this hippo. As we drove by I had imagined it near Slim at home.
Finally I broke down and made Haresh our amazing driver stop on the roadside and help negotiate for the new love o my life. After an intense 15 min a price was set and a new hippo was added to my collection:)
I tried to hide it under my desk in the office to avoid a commotion in the office. It didn’t work, it was noticed and needless to say everyone loved him!

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Tigers and Bears and Lions oooh my

Yesterday Casey and I headed to Bannerghatta Biological Park approximately 30 kilometers from our home in the Diamond District. After a ride full of Justin Bieber telling me that he wants me to be my boyfriend we arrived at the park which has a zoo nearby. We had a few minutes to kill before our safari adventure began. As we are walking around looking enjoying the monkey exhibit, we noticed that there are monkeys everywhere, its like the zoo come alive. As we walked by a mommy monkey and her baby monkey she started hissing at us, naturally I started yelling which only attacked her male counter part who also started hissing at us. The joy of the live exhibits in the zoo.

As we were walking out the zoo two guys approach us and ask if we want to see a baby elephant. Naturally we answered YES!! So we walk into the little building and guess what we see, a baby panther! It was 23 days old and super cute. Naturally we jumped at the chance of  holding the cute little thing.

After saying goodbye to the cutest animal alive, we headed out to our safari ride. We got in a jeep and had the whole things to ourselves. We drove through the park and got to see the animals right near the car. We went through four part, dear, bears, lions, and tigers. It was really cool to be so near to all the animals.

After saying goodbye to our new friends we went back to the zoo to see the rest. And most importantly, we went to see the hippo. I forced Casey to stand there and stare at them for 30 min. They were sooooooo cute!!!

After a quick nap to relax from all the fun that we had at the zoo we headed out to dinner to celebrate Christine’s birthday. I finally found a place that serves salmon, and let me tell you…. it was delicious!!!!

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Ooh I look so Indian part II

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Bring on the cookies:)

Yesterday my one and only goal was to relax, I know what a challenge. I start off the day with a little book reading and then headed over to the total. The total is India’s version of Walmart/Target, only its you know, Indian. Its two story store that sells all your home goods, electronics, and toys. I spent over an hour just in the flour/sugar/salt area trying to find everything that I needed to make chocolate chip cookies. I had a hard time locating some of the items that I needed, but I was determined to find everything that I needed to make these cookies!! After my very long and exhaustive search at the total I headed back to commercial street to pick up my pretty outfits that I bought last week (fashion show to come). I was greeted on commercial street with a cow peeing, it was a joy.

After putting down my purchases Casey and I headed to the Lela Hotel. Its a luxury hotel near our apartment complex. We quickly hit the pool:)

After a delicious pool side lunch we headed over to get pedicures (it was pampering day for me). It was probably the best pedicure I have ever gotten. Well minus one small guest. As we were finishing up a little mouse came in and joined the fun. It was mostly just super entertaining to see everyone else freak. Once my toes were super pretty we headed back to the pool for dessert and a drink. I am telling you…. life is good!

We stayed by the pool until night time and when it started raining we headed back inside.

what can I say, life is good:D

Once we got back home, I hit up the kitchen. As many of you know, back in Boston, I am an avid cupcake baker. Unfortunately, in India they don’t believe in ovens so we don’t have one in our apartment. But…. we do have a toaster over:D After extensive research, I realized that it was possible to make cookies in the toaster oven! And the fun began….

Before all the real fun has begun

I spent a good 45 mixing up all the ingredients and it was soooooo much fun! I really do miss baking:( But I am glad that I have been able to figure out how to make cookies in our limited kitchen! Since I couldn’t find chocolate chips I used this little candy boxes so I had to open 15 of them, look in the back of the picture. And doesn’t that look sooo yummy??

After six batches (since the toaster oven is so small) a rather large pile of cookies appeared:D. Christine and Casey both said that they liked the cookies (they might just be nice) but in the end I am really happy.

After some further investigation, it is okay to bring cookies to the office, so I shall bring them in tomorrow so that we wont eat them all and get fat….

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Happy 65th Birthday!!

Today, August 15th is India’s Independence day. It has been an interesting day. Just like in America I had the privilege, neh, the honor, of coming to work. Just like Boston, the work never stops, even for holidays. Yesterday the word came down that everyone had to work, and since all the staff was coming in, so did we. We had to cancel our plans and come to work. The people at the Q-center were really unhappy about this, understandably.

In an attempt to make things a little better I brought some tootsie rolls for the group, because you know, candy makes the world better. They seemed to really like the candy, but still hate working. I understand, I would be frustrated as well. For lunch the office brought in Indian lunch. Christine and I were daring enough to try to eat it. Unlike the Boston office, they got everyone a really big cake and some fruit juice. It was yummy. After some instruction from one of the girls I work with, I attempted some of the Indian food. To say that it was spicy was an understatement. I again reaffirmed my belief that Indian food is too spicy, but it was worth a try. In honor of the holiday, everyone was let out of the office at 4:30, so we got to leave early as well:). For the first time since I got to India, I was able to leave work on a work day before the sun had set!

On the drive back I noticed that a lot of place (and cars, and people, and the office) had Indian flags hanging up. It was almost like being in Israel when the country is covered in the flag but to a lesser degree. It was nice to see. In honor of the holiday, I will go and have Italian food, especially since we got out so early.

Again, happy birthday India!

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One Month India!

This morning it has come to my attention that I have been in India for a month. Now you probably ask how I cam upon this realization. Well this morning as I was talking my lovely malaria medication I noticed that there was only one pill left, aka I have been here for a month. And wow, what a month it has been.

And just like the book predicated, at my one month here the euphoria has worn off. I no longer look at everything in amazement and rather accept is as just another thing in India. I have also started to miss everything about home. I miss my family, my friends, my cats, and yes dare I say it, even my job. But as Christine and Casey often remind me, this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am trying to enjoy every minute of it.

Last weekend, Christine and I woke up at the ass crack of dawn (yes 6am) and we went for a walk through the street of Bangalore. For three hours we learned about the history of Bangalore. The guy was a really good guide, and looking back on it we probably only traveled prob a kilometer (yes I have become Indian) but it was still really interesting. I learned a lot, granted it was very propaganday (I get the feeling that this is very common in India), but it was still really interesting. It was interesting to see how Bangalore is the center of the world and everything that was important start here (per our tour guide). After the tour we went to breakfast on the 14th floor of a building. We has amazing views of the city, naturally I didn’t recognize anything except one mall, but it was still really pretty. For lunch we went to an all you can eat BBQ place, it was delicious. Naturally I ate too much.

This week at work was as usual, come in, check e-mails, have a fruit bowl, answer questions, have lunch, answer more questions, get home, eat omelet, and go to bed. Yes I lead such a fascinating life, I even surprise my self sometimes. This week and next week Lakshmi, the head of the Q-centre (see totally Indian), will be visiting the office. It has been interesting to hear her side of the story and how things are run. She grew up in India but has lived most of her life in the US.

On Saturday, Casey and I hit up commercial street. And we were successful, very successful! I bought three more outfits and four pairs of shoes. What can I say I am the ultimate consumer. It was very tiring, naturally I had to come home and take a nap, afterwords I went for a walk around the neighborhood, it was as fun as it is in Boston. I even found a bakery! Although they don’t have cannolis (sorry Inbar). After my fun little walk (and I stopover to get a popsicle), Casey and I hit up the movie theater. It was just like the movies in Israel, an intermission and assigned seating.  Afterwords we ran into (literally we just happened upon it) a brewery, it was great! They had amazing beer. We really could have been anywhere in the world.

Today was a nice relaxing Sunday which included a all you can eat amazing brunch and a nap, just what I needed for the week ahead. Let the fun begin.

PS everything is changing, even my facebook has gotten timelined:(

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The office

So one of the amazing books that KPMG sent me before I got here (and I totally read every page… NOT) said that during your first month you should spend time looking at what is similar between your new environment and your old as opposed to the differences. As such, I have made a list, after all I am a business woman:)

 
1. The doughnut room – that is what the coffee area is called. Its almost like the kitchen back in the Boston office. Often times I walk in there and there are people chatting and drinking some tea and water.

2. The badge – just like back in Boston everyone here wears their badge to get into everything

3. The corporate structure – as always there are people on top and people on the bottom, the important people get nicer offices or cubes and the corporate game begins.

4. When its nice outside – the kids will play. When the weather is nice you often see tons of people milling around on the grass and enjoying the sunshine. Although to be honest, that appears to be almost every day here.

5. The staff seem to like each other – often times I look up and people are smiling and giggling, I can only assume it is not related to taxes.

6. They help each other out – when they are unfamiliar with some issue they reach out to their co-workers.

7. There is a friendly face – at the security desk there is always at least one (usually three or four) nice security guards

8. The signs in the bathroom – apparently all big companies think that their employees don’t know how to wash their hands. Thanks goodness they have put up signs with instructions.

9. People leave – enough said.
So I managed to sneak some pictures of the office (we aren’t support to take any pictures of the office).

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I look ohh so Indian

Look at me:)

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