Wednesday, July 05, 2006

24K Airmiles

03/07/2006 Monday

My third trip to New Delhi. Leaving on a Sunday this time, because I would have 2 extra days at work, which is very useful. Linda dropped me off at Peterborough Station nice on time, so I could catch the 16:57 GNER Train to London King's Cross. Now it was a really hot day and in Schotland thunderstorms made the GNER delay for at least 45 minutes. So we decided to drive to Heathrow instead. The A1 was not a problem, when we finally arrived on the M25 close to the turnoff to Heathrow, a accident happened with 6 cars, one BMW on fire. So 3 lanes closed off. And 4 lanes had to be squeezed into 1 lane. Still 45 minutes later as expected we arrived at Heathrow Terminal 3. Very busy, this time, so no luck with some nice seats for myself, like last time when I had 4 seats. I had an old couple sitting next to me waking me up every 3 hours as they had to go to the toilet. Anyway, it was a good flight in the end and arrived safely at Delhi Indira Ghandi at around 11:00. A same taxi driver picked me up, as he brought us to the Airport last time we where out here. He talked about I take you to my friends shop. Uhuh. Anyway, he dropped me off at work, where I got rid off the ohhh soo smelly engine I took with me for Tarun. I did take a big suitcase this time with bedding in there. Andrew, and Steve did the same a while ago. Had a good first day, and met up with some new people in the studio. Setting up the machine and my new desk....As the studio is slowly filling up it's space. Ricky, Tarun and myself went out to get some money out of the machine, and went out to Flavours, where I went on my last trip as well. The food was good (as always) and had stuffed mushrooms and and penne chicken. Oh yes, before I forget to mention. It was humid and 41 degrees Celcius. I went home around 19:00 to catch up with some rest.
Coming home, the Power was off, so I decided to keep myself calm, layed on the bed with some towel and icecubes in it to cool myself down. I decided to go out to get myself again 2 strawberry frappees with 2 lumps of vanilla icecream :) Did some shopping at the TwentyfourSeven shop and went homewards again. Now the power was back on and I put on all airconditionings in the house. Made a huge difference ! Didn't sleep untill 24:00 and managed to catch some sleep
in the end.

04/07/2006 Tuesday

After a good night sleep, I woke up at around 08:00 and turned around, where I woke up at 09:30 again. Time to get up and go to work. My stomach is still okay, as I haven't felt anything weird last last visits. Fingers crossed however. And off to work again. It has been a fruitfull and busy day again. Today I heard as well we have Friday off, which is rather nice. So I'll be planning to do some sightseeing while I'm here. Then again, I missed a bank holiday in the UK, so that makes up for it. And the office is closed anyway. Although I do have a laptop and could do some work I guess, I'll not commence work (at least not much anyway) this Friday. Had a nice chicken disk today for lunch, and left work at about 20:00 after a chat with Andrew. Still have to prepare some emails later on, while I'm typing this up and having my dinner which is lovely btw. Having Butter Chicken with Matar Pulao Rice. Sitting on the bed with a large pineapple juice mug with ice. I even had the opportunity to talk to Linda through Skype, as I'm using the neighbours, or someones who's wireless signal is strong enough to connect to the internet. I'm of to bed on time today, as I wanted some rest....Listen to some music as soon as I've send my last emails tonight.

05/07/2006 Wednesday

Had a good night sleep again. Although before going to sleep last night we had another power failure. This time for about 45 minutes. Woke up at 08:00 as I did set my alarm, and had a nice shower this morning. Going to work, it was already 36 degrees.
Another fruitful day passed, and managed to do most things which were planned. We did have a power failure, and even the generator this time didn't respond. So we had to shut down the machines (not for long though) I left at about 20:00 today. Mukund came back from his holiday in Thailand, which was amazing by the sounds of it. And we are planning to have go places this weekend. Friday was normally a day off for the company, but it had been changed due to circumstances. Which gives me the opportunity to do some more work while I'm out here. Just finished another beautiful meal prepared by our own butler. And watched some news while chatting with Andrew and Linda at the same time. Well, airco is working. So I'm going to sleep in a minute, as there will be another busy day ahead tomorrow.

06/07/2006 Thursday

Another good sleep :) And walked to work at 09:00. The office wasn't open yet, so I went and sit in the nice garden in front of the office. Had good news today, as one of our clients signed off the work we had done for them, and the Publisher was very pleased.
So hopefully our relationship will continue with more work. Did some useful smaller tasks today as well, and quite of lot of reviewing and feedback. We ordered some from Subway today at 13:00, still not delivered until 14:30, so Tarun and I decided to pop out for lunch at Flavors again. Driving in his wrecky old car, had a nice lunch, and within 40 minutes we were back again. Tomorrow the office will open at 11:00, as the generator needs fixing. But that gives me some time to do some documenting at home before going in. We will have to plan as well what we're going to do this weekend. I'll arrange a taxi with driver for the whole weekend to go places. Tonight I'll do some surfing and ask one of the guys if this is a good thing to do in the weekend. Some people say "you should go there, it's beautiful", but then again it's 6 hours drive :( So dinner in a minute, same as I had last night. After that I'll do some more food shopping and grab myself, yes, another strawberry frappe :) Just had a nice shower, as it was really hot today. The Power just went off in the flat :( So time to get the candles on and eat my dinner. Hopefully it will get back on soon.

07/07/2006 Friday

Had a long power failure last night, so I opened the balcony door. It was quite windy, which was rather nice. I tried to catch some sleep, and finally managed to do so at 01:00. Got up at 08:00 again, and was getting ready to go to work. Engineers where looking at our generator, so we did not have power until 11:00 this morning. People who where early came and joined me in the park. At around 11:15 the job was cleared, and power was back. Straight into work to get some important issues out of the way. It was another busy day, but good again. I was really pleased we finally mastered the main thing we needed to look into today. Went out for lunch to Flavors, again. This time with Mukund, Akhil and Samrat. Mukund drove his car over an edge where the parking attendant was. So in order to get his car back on the road the attendant placed some bricks. Mukund not so happy when that happened. In the evening I managed to reinstall Windows XP on my Macbook Pro, and got all internet working together with Ricky's help.
I arranged a taxi for this weekend including a driver to go places. So tomorrow morning I'm picking up Mukund, and then we're off to explore more of India. It's bedtime now for me, as it's going to be a long day tomorrow.

08/07/2006 Saturday

Weekend at last. Woke up dead on time, and packed all the things for today (including two bottles of water). As it was 39 degrees Celcius today, cloudy but hot. The taxi driver arrived 15 minutes late, so we left here at 10:15 towards Gurgaon, which is South from Delhi, about 45 minutes drive. We picked up Mukund, and he showed me around. A very nice place where he lives. After some drinks, we went to see the Lotus Temple, in Delhi. Very impressive building, and well maintained. It was very hot. At the temple we had to take our shoes off, so we did. And entered the temple. Not allowed to take any pictures inside, or talk. To be honest, it was a nice building, but not much to see. So we decided to leave the place again after 15 minutes. The gardens surrounding Lotus Temple where well maintained, and there was a nice pool around the temple as well. Back to the taxi we drove to the Iskcon Temple, which is NOT recommended unless you love Hara Krishna stuff. First of all, the building was not impressive at all, and second the temple was closed. So we decided to do one more tour, and then go and seek some airco at the shopping moles in Gurgaon. We drove to Humayun's Tomb. Which was well worth seeing. Although it was not very busy (not surprised cause of the heat) it was a nice place to see. Entrance for Indians was 10 Rupee, and for myself 250 Rupees. Well maintained as well, and the building structures looked impressive. Some builders were carrying out some repairs. And after 45 minutes we moved on again. Towards Gurgaon, where we ended up in one of the shopping area's. We had a nice break at Cafe Coffee Day and had "yes" you guessed, another strawberry frapee. And another nice cold drink. Surprisingly I saw ABN AMRO Bank and Bata Shoes here as well. Both Dutch companies. I bought some small towels, to whipe my face with, but just noticed I left them at Mukund's place. All sandals I tried where not wide enough, so no business there for them. We bought two tickets for the cinema tomorrow morning at 11:15, so I'll be leaving here again just before 10:00. Do some shopping for the kiddo's and Linda as well. After we drove back to drop off Mukund, we had some tea and some local biscuits and other things. I met his mum, dad, brother, sister in law, aunt and his nephew :)
I just got home, and the driver dropped me off at 21:00 again. Another nice hot and sunny day.

09/07/2006 Sunday

Another Power failure last night until 02:00 this time, it was not as easy to fall asleep, so just closing the eyes to try to get some rest at least. As the taxi driver was expected at 09:45. I did feel okay in the morning and the taxi driver was early. Progress !
It was very cloudy this morning, and even had some darker clouds, but still no sign of the Monsoon, which should have started 8 days ago. It was not busy on the road to Gurgaon at all, so we arrived at Mukund's place 30 minutes early. Had some chai (tea) and after 30 minutes we went to the cinema. It started to rain, not a lot but it was nice as it cooled everything down. The temperature drop was not very much, maybe if it rains for a bit longer it will be nicer outside. It's still 35 degrees, 4 degrees less then yesterday. We bought some tickets for "the Davinci Code". I carried a bag on me, and to dispose it, so we gave my bag to the taxi driver for safekeeping. Then back again to the cinema, as we missed the first 5 minutes or so. We visited the Yo, China ! restaurant, which was very tasty. Managed to get two covers for our new bed, in the size we wanted. One was cotton, and the other one Silk, very very nice quality, and you guessed it, cheap. Not for here however, as the shop was very exclusive.
Drove back to drop off Mukund again, and did some handycraft shopping at a mall nearby. Bought some little presents for the house and for the kids too. Around 16:00 we went to South Ex. where I bought some nice presents for Linda, myself some shorts at the Levi's Store and some other things. The taxidriver dropped me off at home at 18:00. I'm taking it easy tonight, might go out for some cold drinks nearby.
Well I decided because it was still quite early to go to Qba at Connaught Place. So I changed clothes, walked out and got an auto riksho around the corner. He asked 65 rupee, and I haggled it to 50. Gave him 70 in the end, as it was quite a distance. It took about 20 minutes, and the driver was friendly. I had a nice mocktail, with mint. Had the same drink last time when I was out with Steve. I had a nice garlic bread, fresh tomato soup and some chicken canaloni. I only spend around 1.200 rupee for all this (including the two mocktails). I got a recommendation from a Spa outside Delhi, on which I'm going to find out if that place is any good. Probably will do this on my next trip. The restaurant holder told me it was famous amongst people, and very exclusive. Well, that just for us :) Hope Linda will enjoy that one too. On a journey that should have taken 20 minutes lasted for more than 1 hour. The first driver asked for 200 rupees, as I said on my way here it was only 50. Yes, but it's dark :) So ? So I went to another one, this one was reasonable, the only thing the driver had his brother in the auto riksho, and his breath smelled of pure alcohol. Also he could not shut up. So annoying he was. They did not have a clue where they were going, as I noticed that after 5 minutes. I got really frustrated, as I did not wanted to end up somewhere in the middle of nowhere on my own, without the mobile not even working (that battery was flat within a day). So when we entered Lajpat Nagar 4 I stopped the driver, jumped off, gave them 50 and walked off. In search for another one who WAS capable of driving me home. This one had no clue either, as he stopped at so many places to ask. So a girl buying groceries finally pointed him in the right direction. As soon as I saw the Twenty four Seven shop I jumped out, paid him, and was home. What a relief. Did some shopping and walked home. So happy to be here again. Well, that was a adventure !

10/07/2006 Monday

Busy day at work :)

11/07/2006 Tuesday

Busy day at work :) Had some lunch at Falvors again together with Ricky and Tarun.

12/07/2006 Wednesday

Had a good sleep last night, and as the Monsoon started it became very humid, but at least the temperature was lower than last week. When I opened my door I noticed the whole floor was wet in the living room. It rained so heavily, the drain could not cope with all the water, so it flooded the livingroom. I quickly turned off al power sockets. I got some lovely Butter Boneless Chicken with Rice at lunch, while working. I'm tired, and am almost done with the things I needed to do. Time for a rest I would say. As these two weeks have been hectic, busy but good. Looking forward to see my family again. After work, some of the guys and myself went to Central Market, which is close to where I'm staying. It was a lively market with lots of people. Shops selling fabrics, and had some street dim sums. Very nice, and recomendable even by Tarun, who Stomach is not too strong. Home now, rest. Have some surprise evening meal.

13/07/2006 Thursday

Started early today, to finish the last things on my to-do list. Mukund, Akhil, Samrat and myself went for lunch at Georgy about 8 minutes drive from the office. There was a nice shopping mall as well. I stayed late this evening to join the guys to oversee some work they where carrying out. And had Butter Boneless Chicken with some nice nan bread and rice together with Mukund, Tarun, Hemant and Sonnu. Ricky stayed late as well, but he left home just before we did. I walked back to the appartement at 24:00.

14/07/2006 Friday

Flying home again with Virgin Atlantic at 13:00 IST. Just checked in, sitting here and waiting for my flight. Boarding time is at 12:10. Everytime Virgin is asking if I want a seat nearby the Exit, which costs £50,- extra. Last time Steve managed to get us seats for free. This time I got a guy helping me, so no chance of that. Well at least I tried :) The advantage I might have is that the seat next to me will be empty. So a little bit more space here for me. Will probably watching some movies on the way back home. It was a really good trip yet again, but am looking forward to go home to see the family again. Hopefully they'll like the presents.


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