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Todays forecast... 93 with a heat index of 101F

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by jharkin, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Change of food (and water quality) upsets my stomach sometimes for weeks. Pretty much lost 4 out of the 6 weeks of my last trip.

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  2. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    True that any change can cause issues, but in India especially you have an almost 50/50 chance of contracting E.Coli even if you are careful due to poor water quality standards, lacking sanitation and almost universally contaminated produce. Not to mention rarer cases of Cholera, shigella, cryptosporum, giardiasis, trichinosis, etc.

    The only true defense is to eat nothing that inst steaming hot when it hits your plate (clean and dry! not wet from a rinse in contaminated tap water) and tons of hand sanitizer but that's not always possible.

    The most warnings are given about the water, but in truth most of the people who do get sick were careful about drinking bottled. Its usually eating unwashed vegetables, cross contaminated food from poor hygiene in restaurant kitchens, something that spoiled sitting out in a buffet, unpasteurized dairy, etc.
    smokinj likes this.
  3. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    oh and I finally slept for 8 hours!!!! :) :)
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  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    This place sounds "glorious" for a foodie.;sick
  5. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Actually theres plenty of fast food franchises in most of these places. I dont normally eat at Mcdonalds,KFC.Pizza Hut ,ect,but when in foreign countries its often a good choice.
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I think I will stick with the E-coli soup if those are my other choices.;lol
  7. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I work with three guys who have to make frequent trips to India. It's rare that they make a trip without getting some major stomach ailment.

    I enjoyed this movie, and always assumed it must be a pretty good look at an American working in India, although I guess I wouldn't really know: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outsourced_(film)
  8. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Sweet Jharkin!! I don't get to go that far for my "business" trips. Although 16 hours of flights doesn't sound overly appealing...

    A
  9. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Actually i ate at a Pizza Hut in asia and it was WAY better than the one in my hometown. Also McDonalds serves things like barbequed chicken with rice and spagetti. Its actually pretty good and you can order online and have it delivered hot to your rooftop suite hotel within 30 minutes. I never got sick from any franchised FF joints food while abroad.
    Jags likes this.
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    "and I want a large order of Mcfalafels and a McSwarma and a fig shake";lol
  11. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    You were a broad?!?

    Sorry...
  12. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Oak is right. Fast food joints are sometimes the safest place the world over because the corporation enforces strict kitchen food safety standards locals might not. I didn't this time, but ate at a McD's the first time I came to India in 05.

    The food at McDs was similar, but not exactly the same as home. The fries had a slightly different taste due to different oil. No hamburgers for obvious reasons but they had all kinds of fried and grilled chicken and fish sandwiches. I remembered the fried chicken was hot with indian spices. Regular coke was available along with local Indian soda and drinks like lassi.

    Photos below I took in 05. It was monsoon season that time I came...
    DSC01192.JPG DSC01234.JPG
  13. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    A couple other interesting shots from that old trip (first of 3 including this time) as I had more sightseeing time then...

    City scenes...

    city.jpg residential.jpg weekend_traffic.jpg


    The ever present motor rickshaws

    rickshaw.jpg

    Parvati Temple

    parvati_temple.jpg

    A street temple erected during the festival of Ganesha. People line up to give offerings of coconuts (you cant see the truck in the back collecting them all, which get sent around to the front to the offering line again :) ) This is a week long celebration in September that's very big in the state of Maharashtra. At the end of the festival the crowds march to dump all the Ganesh icons in the river.
    ganesh.jpg
    Swedishchef likes this.
  14. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Back to today. A couple more streets scenes from this week including a shot of the hotel. Also our group out to lunch at a local hotel restaurant.

    Traffic in Pune is at least 50% motorcycles and scooters, because Pune has minimal public transit. In Mumbai there are more cars than bikes, as the distances are longer and the bus system is better developed (plus there is a subway under construction). Traffic is completely random and vehicles NEVER stop for pedestrians. YOu will notice a lot of hte bikers and pedestrians wearing face scarves, this is to protect against the dust in the dry season.

    hotel.jpg street2.jpg
  15. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    And this is our group out for lunch the other day. My company employs almost 1,100 people here in Pune spread across 2 buildings, of which 800+ are R&D. My job is to manage one of the local quality assurance teams here and I am a consultant to the overall R&D organization to promote quality coding practices among our software developers.

    team.jpg
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  16. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I should add that I finally got sleep on wed and thu and my digestion seems to be recovering. Didn't need to resort to the Cipro so far :)

    Time to go to work (its 9am here, which is 11:30pm Friday on the east coast)
  17. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Those roadside barbeque places look and smell inviting until you realize the owners may be miles from home with no place to wash up or keep utensils(and their hands)clean . The first time you see someone walk to a nearby wall or tree and take a squirt and then come right back and handle the food,will probably swear you off these places.
  18. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    So which one are you? ;)
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  19. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I'll try and sort the last couple days photos after I get settled in at home (sitting in Schiphol right now). One cool thing on the flight back was we flew over Dubai at night in totally clear air. Its quite a site all litup at night with the artificial island, whish I could had taken photos.
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  20. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    The trip back was very uneventful this time :) No delays and pretty clear weather for most of the flight. As mentioned above I got to see the Persian Gulf at night which was cool.

    Overall I just didn't take so many pictures this time around, but here are a few more.

    First some additional street scenes.

    street3.jpg street4.jpg
  21. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Friday night before I left I went out for dinner and beers with a bunch of my friends there.. Many pitchers of kingfisher but no photographic evidence ;)

    Then on Saturday before we left my local manager invited us over to his house and we went out shopping at a local mall and had lunch. His new apartment is in one of the new developments which you can see below. Its a huge and very modern complex of buildings. In the first photo you can see the complex health center in the central courtyard, and then from the second is the view off his balcony (see the shanty town reminding you this is still India). And then some shots of the mall that is also very modern.

    apartments.jpg view.jpg mall.jpg mall2.jpg
  22. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    One must always pay attention to the water in India. The hotel gives you a few every day. The bottles have warning labels on them to crush after use - street vendors are known to refill old ones and super glue the caps back on. I ALWAYS check the mfg date printed on the bottle and look it over for signs of tampering. Ive sent bottles back at restuarants that looked a bit old.

    water.jpg
  23. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I was going to take a lot of photos on the drive back to the Airport in Mubmai but ended up shooting mostly video instead. Here is one of the only good shots I got.

    The route to the airport is about 70 miles, about 50 miles is expressway over the mountains and through some farm country. Going down the mountain is scary at times, its very winding (think that IRT trucker show) and the driver is careening through traffic. We say one overturned truck on the downhill sections and a couple burnt out cars from high speed wrecks later on.

    The 70 mile trip takes 4 hours - on a GOOD day - mostly due to traffic over the last 5-10 miles across downtown Mumbai.

    After the drive its 4 hours in the airport, 10 hours to Amsterdam, another 4 hours in the airport then 8 more to Boston. As an aside the level of security in both Mumbai and Amsterdam makes getting through the airpoort in the US seem trivial. I had to pass 3 security checkpoints before getting onboard in Mumbai alone.
    expressway.jpg
  24. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    There must be a few residents in MUmbai eh? A few more than Boston I presume ;)
  25. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Looks like many other asian countries.Ultra modern with some shanty towns mixed in. Most countries dont put up the poor in modern apts like the US does and pay all their bills.
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