Friday, February 12, 2010

Well, Here is a picture I almost broke my neck taking. Sorry for the blurry-ness. This is the Salwa that my mom purchased for me when she was in India. I brought it with me and had the arms made a little larger so it fit. While I don't find this style of clothing particularly flattering on my shape - it is very comfortable and quite beautiful.

This picture is of the roof of the tailor shop. There are really neat light fixtures like this in many places in India, even a tiny little tailor's shop that's hidden in the recesses of a building. :)

Ah, additional sightseeing pictures from Sunday 1/31/09. This is the lovely Nizam's palace (1 of many, I'm told). All you get are outside shots as they did not allow photography inside.
These pictures are deceptive. There were several buildings for the palace, with a few nice courtyard's between, some with gazeebos and fountains.

Another part of the palace. Sadly, I tried to take some pictures of the vintage cars that were on display, but they were behind glass and poorly lit. Be aware, I saw a Rolls that was 100 years old, and some even older luxury cars. AMAZING. If you visit Hyderabad (Cyberbad), I very much suggest you visit this palace. It is wonderfully kept up and there are absolutely fabulous pictures of the family through the years. Including a very beautiful woman who looks like an actress, which was very reminiscent of Evita, for me.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Sight-seeing: TOMBS

After Golconda Fort, we went to the Tombs. There are several, this is only one.

For obvious reasons, I didn't really want to take pictures inside.

This is a close-up of the outside. Look at how gorgeous the carving is! On some of the other tombs, there were pictures hidden in the carvings - mostly animals, but sometimes shoes.

Here is the tomb from a little farther away - the people walking up to it should give perspective to just how large a building it is.

The same tomb from even farther away. The domes used to be colored in blue or green, they told us. Unfortunately, after a few hundred years it didn't hold up.

And then, Natalie wanted some coffee. We asked our host to take us to a place where she could get a cup. Instead, he took us to a place, went in, and returned with a ceramic mug and saucer. per Natalie, it was fabulous coffee (to me it tasted like a mocha). No, we did not get to take the mug and saucer with us, we had to give them back. But it was our first coffee borrowed from a restaurant to have in the car moment.

Sight Seeing: Golconda Fort

On Saturday, we mostly shopped, hence the picture of Charminar, which is in the middle of a huge shopping area. But on Sunday we went to Golconda Fort and marched around it's battlements. Golconda has a really awesome history - they used physics to do things like move water up into the high areas of the fort and they used accousitcs to make things like whispering walls and an area where you can clap and it can be hears in the highest battlement far above and way. Simply amazing to experience. Here are a few of the shots:

This is the view down on the fort from high up in the fort. We walked all of that to get up to where this picture was taken.

This is the view from the ground level up one of the walls. The camera is at my eye height and pointed up, so you can see that this was a very tall wall, indeed.

The view from one of the lower battlements to one of the higher battlements as we walked the stairs and halls.

One of the halls - restricted entry, but beautiful nonetheless.

And a very welcoming bit of graffiti!

Sight-seeing: CHARMINAR

So, it was almost impossible to get a good picture of the charminar due to how big and ornate it is. I couldn't seem to capture both. So, here are a few shots to give some perspective.

Charminar - one of the towers

Charminar from the bottom:

Charminar from farther away:

And also, at a co-workers's house, I got to play on a 200 year old piano!!! My inner music geek was thrilled. The piano was out of tune, but still a treat.

(Blurry) Dinner out with the team.

Not naming names because I haven't received permission to include people's names in the blog - but here are a few shots from our team dinner. First off, we were on the 2nd floor, on a tent-ish parlour.

Behind us in this shot you can see the trees on the lakefront. There were no windows, and the wall just stopped and the rest was open. Truly a unique experience.

I figured this was so blurry it didn't matter how many co-workers ended up in the shot, since you can't tell who they are. (I know, but then, I actually work with these people). This is the same restaurant, where you first enter, by the stairs. Our tables are in front of us (thus, not shown in the picture). Note the fancy spa-ish atmosphere.

This is the other side of our table from the open sky - the wall. Fancy pictures on the wall.....

The restaurant is called 1865 and I recommend the "Chicken 65" - which is not unique to this menu, but on the menu at several places I've been in India.

The HYD office

Below are a few pictures of the office. None with company information because I don't feel comfortable posting my workplace everywhere online and because I don't intend to be speaking for my company in this blog.

Lights around the planters outside at night! Very pretty :)

Some of the snackies available

The gorgeous entryway decorated with sand because of Republic day when we arrived on 1/26

More of the lovely sand art. The floating flowers are a permanent feature, though, and appear to be changed daily. It is a lovely touch

And here I am in my favorite outdoor feature of them all, the swinging chair! I desperately want one of my own. They are great for lounging and are very comfortable. Plus, they SWING! I have noticed an abundance of swinging seats and benches since being here. The Indians totally have the right idea. I almost bought one before I realized how hard it would be to get it on the plane and home in one piece.

Dubai Airport pictures

In case you were wondering, yes the DUBAI airport is lovely.
Generally, it's just like any other airport I've seen except for one important thing:

TREES AND PONDS! (Evidence below)
Yes, the Dubai airport has living plants, even trees inside it and even has water feature with a pond and Koi fish (yes, I am aware I can't spell). Isn't it pretty?

Another picture of that lovely little oaisis in the airport.
The middle? That's all water gently flowing toward us!

Oh, and here are those pesky socks again, sitting on the chair next to me.
Snoopy - you have well-traveled socks (perhaps even multi-lingual!)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Finally got some pictures!

Alright. So, as of last post, I had no pictures because I had no camera cord. Well, one of my nice Indian co-workers lent me one today. So, let's have a few pictures from the India trip, shall we?

So, here a few of Natalie and I on our way over:

In the beginning, there were size 16 socks for Snoopy.....

Then there were Karl Urban and Chris Pine (of COURSE I watched Star Trek when I saw it was playing)

Then there was rough time when the Malaria pills made me very sick and nothing happened for an hour or two.

Then there were even longer size 16 socks for Snoopy

And then there was a bloody Mary

And then Erin and Nat lived happily ever after working in India (Ok, secretly, we had about 6 more hours of that flight left, a bit of troubled sleep, a layover in Dubai, and then another flight.....but who's counting?)

And let's have a few of my apartment here in Hyderabad (which I've got stamped in my passport as Cyberabad):

Here is the kitchen (picture taken from Dining Room)

Here is the Dining Room and part of the Lving Room. Please note, there in the corner is a hanging bench which is not in the picture, but on which I am spending most of my not-sleeping time in the apartment. The Internet doesn't work so well upstairs in my bedroom, so if you talk to me online from home and not work, then that bench is where I am.

Here is a veiw from the bench of the way upstairs (the stairs and the entire floor are all stone and gorgeous)

Here is the upstairs lounge. We have a big communal balcony on every floor, a private balcony in each room, and a private bathroom in each room.

This is my room. It was the most beautiful sight after being in transit for 30 hours (that's WITHOUT the time difference)

More pictures as I get time to upload them!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Hello from Hyderabad (India)

For those of you who aren't in "the know" about my life - I work for a big international company - and they have sent me on a business trip to India. There is a lot to say. For one, I've never traveled before and it really is a unique experience to get 1st hand window into another culture. Granted, it might have been easier to travel somewhere a little closer to home (in mileage or in culture), but I don't regret this dicision at all and am pretty darn grateful to my company for giving me this experience (Although the work days could have been a little shorter and a little less packed full of meetings -but hey, you can't have everything)

I wish I could fill this post with the sights, smells, and even food of India - but I can't. I can't even provide you pictures since my camera is sitting full of memories without it's cord and the work computer doesn't have a memory card slot.

What I can do is promise to upload as many as I can once I get home. I'm in India for two weeks (or until the end of this week) and then in Dubai for a few days.

While this post is overall positive, I do have a few not so positive things to report:
- Malarone - Anti Malaria Medicine - It is a terrible thing with a ton of really nasty side effects. I will be happy to get off of it in a couple of weeks.
- Spicy Stomach - the way your stomach feels after eating spicy food for a number of days (provided you like spicy food enough to eat it for a number of days).
- Being stared at - kinda funny at first, and now negligible, but I can imagine it might be really awkward for people who can't get used to it.
- OMG THE DRIVING (enough said)
- Smog - while it makes for lovely sunsets, man have I been coughing my lungs out this past week.
- Homesickness - while almost completely absent from my trip, it hits at the strangest times and is brought on by the oddest things. For example: A song on the radio, but not a Video Chat with the boyfriend.
- Salad - I would probably pay $100 for a fresh green salad right about now. I love the food here, but I grew up eating salad at least once a day as a child and have maintained that habit. It's a sorely missed indulgence.

However, back to the positives - we're going to see a Bollywood movie tomorrow night!!!
And the team here are smart and fun people who I feel very priveledged to have met. I can only hope that their impressions of me have been half so favorable.

Take care everyone. I miss you, but I'll be home in a week with tons of pictures!