a day @ work

this is what i usually start off the morning with. a glass of water and a plate of new assorted biscuits :) every desk here comes with its mandatory bottle of water every morning. the pantry boys place it here and replace it everytime it empties. thus i dilligently try to finish 2 full bottles or more of water everyday. i like this system alot. it ensures that i drink my water. i tink im gonna be spoilt when i go back to corporate sg without the pantry boys ;p

here's a shot of my desk at work. pardon the blur shots, i din use the flash..

we've 2 tt(table-tennis) tables at our cafeteria, and we usually play a game of 3 sets before lunch :) hopefully i pick up at least one skill from my stint here - tt :)

ok here's a shot of my typical lunch. its so standard that melvin and i chant it. join me now.

"rice, daal, potato. rice, daal, potato"
the following are shots taken of my office compound. its called Unitech Cyberpark. Unitech is one of the larger Indian property developers and Cyberpark is one of their many projects.

and now, i end off with shots of the posters put up around my office. the bad quality of the photo does injustice to these really vibrant and nice posters that captured the hearts of 40 million indians when it was first launched.

Airtel. Express Yourself.


journey to the ganges.

and so the weekend came, i was finally going to make a trip out of Delhi and up north. thanks to nil and his frens, Celine and i embarked on our trip to Rishikesh, the holy land, for some white water rafting on the ganges! our journey began at 2.30am saturday morning, damn early, but no choice. took the car down to nil's place before we got picked up by his frens in his 7-seater car. it was the start of a loong looong journey...

this was one of the worst part of the trip when we got stuck in a jam! omg.. u cant imagine the agony my butt was going thru. the photo above shows the view from the back of the car where i was sitting.. imagine staring at this for a good hour, without space to move about.. gah.

here's nil and his buddies, all happy in front cos.. celine and i were stuck at the back!

ok, this picture doesnt depict the superbly cram conditions at the back of the car. so you can imagine our joy when we finally reached the mid-point stop. Cheetal Grand! Cheetal Grand is this really nicely done up stop-over for road-trippers going up north. As you can see from the photos, it kinda reminded me of cameron highlands with all the bright flowers. the toilets were nice and clean, and it was a nice refreshing pit-stop for the long ardous journey..

what really tickled me were these signs that you see above.. hurhur.

first sight of the ganges!

after a good 8 hours on the road, we finally reached our destination! Rishikesh, and our hotel, Rajdeep, who proudly claims to be recommended by Lonely Planet. But as we were to find out later in the night, it was certainly lacking in some aspects! more on that later..

and so after plonking our stuff down in the hotel, we were all ready to set off for our raft adventure. we had to walk quite a distance to get to the car, but it was a pretty picturesque route. the long hanging bridge u see below stretches across the ganges river, and is heavily communted by pedestrains and motorbikes alike.

it was indeed a sight to behold, as we see throngs of people just jumping into the river to cool off from the heat wave. nil and i were having this conversation on civilisations and water bodies.

finally after we got high enough in the hills, our rafting adventure began! had a short brief on what to do and what not to do if we do fall into a whirlpool. was taught the technique of paddling, which is very similar to dragonboat, so not much of a problem there. rafting was really fun, but i must say the best part was when we jumped into the waters! haha.. it was FREEZING cold! like really really cold.. you get the point. felt really refreshing, especially good respite from the heat.

here's the gang. all 6 of us. really nice guys who took good care of Celine and I. And of cos they were super persistent in getting us to teach them chinese swear words, which Celine and I discovered were quite few to begin with. seems that all our swear words are in dialect? not many in chinese we could think of.. haha. we thus proclaimed our language to be one of finese. hurhur.

after a good 1.5hrs of rafting and playing in the river, we finally made our way for lunch/dinner at this restaurant called Chotiwalas. And lo behold, there were TWO chotiwalas side by side, both claiming to be the original and real one. Very identical to those spats we get back in sg, i.e. the rochor road tau hway.. heh. food there was pretty good. celine insisted on having mushroom fried rice, the only chinese thing we could find. they took so long to serve it that we figured they might be googling on how to cook it. lol.

here's the "restaurant" that we have in the hotel. looks more like a living room if you ask me.
doesn't look as appetising here, but it does taste good! mac and cheese, with mushrooms once again, as requested by celine.

me looking stunned and sleepy in the morning.. this was "breakfast" at 12 noon on sunday.

i shall end off here with some last thoughts. have realised by now that im not exactly a very good blogger.. haha. i kinda miss out the essence when i try to put down my thoughts into words here. the trip was a really good one. the company was great. of cos there were times when we didn't know what was going on cos when they banter rapidly in hindi, but they never fail to make us feel at ease. admist all the jokes, the highlights must be the non-stop jibes on daal (a staple in indian food) and how Celine and I are so meat-deprived that we go ga-ga whenever we see cows or chickens. on our way back, we actually ordered 4 different dishes of chicken. namely butter chicken, chicken tikka, chicken tandoori and chicken buryani. hurhur. you get the point.

our return trip was a very intellectual one as we discussed the merits and demerits of our sg education system in constrast to india's. nil's point was that it was extremely unfair for us to screen and segment our kids when they're 12(at PSLE) when they barely know whats going on. i begged to differ. though i do agree that 12 is a pretty young age, i tink that the streaming does bring out the best of meritocracy.

though at times i did feel that i might have been irrationally defensive of my country. ah well.

its week 4 now. time flies. and yes, i do miss home quite a bit by now.