Monday, November 06, 2017

Perspectives and the people around us.

Today is my last day in Bangalore. I fly out 4am Sunday morning and will arrive in Settle at 10am thanks to the magic of  time zones.

This trip is a little different than my last one. Steven traveled with me last time. This time I'm alone with the natives. It's given me a chance to pay more attention to Indian culture.

Bangalore is in South India. One of my Indian coworkers here has never traveled north of Bangalore. He says he doesn't understand the languages and cultures. The food is too different.

That was a surprisingly deep statement. While I'm trying to wrap my head around India as a whole, I missed the fact that India is extremely diverse with dozens of languages, religions, foods and cultures.

I like Indian food, though I'm looking forward to my regular diet. The spice is hard on my stomach after a few days. Indian buffet is very common.

I have problems figuring out if a dish is a soup, a dip, a sauce or a spread. I don't think the natives always know either. Or perhaps in India there is just food and you eat it however you want. Labels like "Soup", "Spread" "Sauce" "Appetizer"
"Entee" or "Dessert" are western concepts that don't really apply here. Sure there are food preparations that are more liquid than other preparations, but its up to you if you want to eat it as a soup, pour it on rice or drink it from the bowl.

Advertising is everywhere. Everywhere!  Billboards are everywhere. The front page of the newspaper is a big ad with the main headlines summarized in a small bar along the bottom.

My gut says that Indian advertising focuses more on beauty and jewelry than American ads. But I've learned how to tune out much American advertising, so that perspective may say more about me than India.

Indian TV and Movies are over the top. It doesn't help that I don't speak the languages. I can only focus on the strangeness of the situations. Perhaps American TV is similar, but I don't watch the worst of our TV and since I understand the language the absurdities fly past. The overacting here is kind of similar to the overacting you see in mediocre American sitcoms. There doesn't seem to be the Indian equivalent of HGTV or National Geographic. There are many news channels here. Indians love their news. At the highest levels of Indian society and politics, there is so much corruption so many scandals that people follow the news the passion of soap operas or reality shows.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Bangalore is going well. I like the team here. I can stay engaged enough to stay awake all day.
Wednesday we took a day trip to a Belur temple. The visit was a little odd. One of our hosts insisted that we do something fun during our stay. He arranged for the driver.
The temple is very interesting. It’s 900 years old and took over 100 years to build. It’s covered with thousands of carvings, each telling a different story. The stories are from the Hindu texts.
Back at home Steven has a job interview for a great job at his current company. He is nervous and excited about it. I hope he gets it.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Long distance travel is a little disorienting. My trip is 14 hours from Seattle to Dubai, then a three hour layover in Dubai followed with a 4 hour flight to Bangalore.

In Dubai I've been Skyping with people in Seattle who are just getting up and people in Bangalore who are just going to bed.

The sooner I switch to Bangalore time the better, but I'm hungry and sleepy on Seattle time and food is available all the time.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Well,  I am still in Seattle. Things went wrong. I didn't add enough time before the trip. The driver arrived 45 minutes late and traffic was terrible.


I leave again in a couple of hours. The delay screws up my schedule a bit. I'll arrive in Bangalore on Monday at around 9am. I don't think that will change our schedule too much.




Friday, October 27, 2017

I am flying off to Bangalore for work again. This time I am alone. Steven has flown to California for a few days to celebrate his mothers birthday and to spend time with his brother.

My drive doesn't arrive for two hours and I'm ready to go. The trip is 20 hours. Part of me wants to get started as soon as possible. Such is not the way for airlines.

I've given myself an itinerary for the trip. It's too easy to sit, watch movies, drink and play games. I want to use the time to read, write, plan, cleanup my electronic files and listen to some music. All the things I say I want to do more, but never get around to because the TV is on.

I am also flying incredibly light. I think I have all I need—a week of clothes, socks and underwear, toiletries, chargers, electronics, work stuff—packed in a gym bag and a backpack.

This time I am flying business class. My first time doing so for work. A few of my coworkers were excited to hear I was flying business. To be honest, I'm giving up two of my weekends to travel for work. I'm going to be jet lagged for the next two weeks. Business class is very nice and I'm very thankful for it. It doesn't make up for the hassle of the tri

Bangalore does have some very nice places to visit and eat. The hotel is gorgeous. I'll enjoy this trip hassle aside.




Sunday, October 01, 2017

I've started running trail again. From my notes the last time I did a long trail run was July 2014. This brings back memories. I stopped trail running at about the same time I decided to leave my ex.


Life is settling down again. This is good.


Of course my time isn't what it used to be. I used to run my regular trail in 1 hour and 25 minutes. My time is now 1 hour and 47 minutes. This gives me something to work towards.


I've also resurrected the motorcycle. It hasn't run in about a year and half. I added distilled water to the battery and charged it up. I started up the motorcycle and got about 100 feet before it stalled out. It wouldn't restart so I had to push it back home. Today I cleaned out the old gas and charged it again. This time it ran fine.  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Steven is away for the week for work, so I'm playing bachelor. The house is becoming more messy and I will need to pick up before he returns. I've also been eating a little more carefully and exercising a little more regularly. I must figure out how to keep that up when Steven returns.

Some of that is newly freed up time. Over the summer, between the wedding, receptions and travel, we fewer evenings and weekends off. The celebrations have quieted down now. I'm enjoying that. I I spend my evenings listening to music and sipping a glass of wine.

Steven dislikes much of the music I enjoy. He calls it "Elevator music for the death star." That gave me a chuckle.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Two friends of ours, Allen & Evan won a weekends stay at a resort on Lake Chelan.  They invited us along.
Lake Chelan is a dammed lake in the middle of the desert. In summer it's always sunny and warm. We had a lovely weekend.
We rented a boat for a few hours. Steven wants to own a boat. I'm fine renting. Boats cost thousands of dollars a year, so spending a few hundred to rent every now and then is well worth the trade.
We toured the lake, swam an inner tubed.  
In the evening we had dinner with Matt. I haven't seen Matt in years. We lost touch because he and my ex fought. That's become a pattern in my life—losing touch with friends because my ex and they couldn't get along.
Anyways, it was great to catch up with Matt and his new husband. Well. They've been together for 8 years now, so 'new' isn't the right word.
We headed back after lunch on Sunday. As we crossed the mountains, as if on queue, the rain started up again. We haven't had rain in months, so I'm actually enjoying it.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hurricane Irma gives us much to watch.  Just a little over a week ago we were in St. Martaan, Puerto Rico & Ft Lauderdale. Our friends there are all OK.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

We've been on a whirl wind trip to Florida, a cruise on the eastern Caribbean, Puerto Rico & Ottawa. Lots to write, though it's long and rambling.

We booked the Caribbean cruise a long time ago. A friend is a cruise specialist for a travel agency. She arranged a large and inexpensive cruise for many of her old friends, Steven & I included. We booked with her and paid the bill months ago.

But my parents… It turned out the last weekend of the cruise was the same weekend as my parents 50th wedding anniversary. Steven and I scrambled. We figured out how to leave the cruise early and fly up to my parents home town. So much for a cheap summer cruise.

We flew down to Florida a day early and spent it with an old friend of Steven's. It was a good time, It rained a lot and hard—side effect of Hurricane Harvey. We took a water taxi tour of the water front. Did a little shopping. Toured some art galleries including one that sold Warhol's and Dali's. Yours for $60,000.00

Cruise was next day. It was great to meet up with all my old friends. I don't get to spend enough time with them. So many of them have kids now that are in their late teens. I'm not yet used to seeing someone grow up. It makes me feel a little old.

Cruise was fun. When we were outside, the heat and humidity were intense. The ship did a good job of avoiding the rain. Sometimes you could see the showers a mile or so away from the ship.

Steven and I intentionally took it easy. Sleeping in. Napping in the afternoon. Not doing too much. It was great to stop and rest.

I placed 2nd in a big "Name that tune" competition on the ship. It was fun. For about a day afterwards, I was recognized by strangers. The truth is I got lucky. All the songs that I had to name just happened to be songs that I knew. There were many other competitors who were better than me who just got more difficult songs.

I lost in a tie breaker round where I needed to know lyrics. I didn't know the lyrics to "In the Navy" I only knew the course.

Steven and I stayed on board at the first port of call, rather than touring the island. We were rewarded with peace and quiet. The whole pool deck only had about a dozen people. We could use the waterslides with no line. No crowds in any of the pools.

We got off in Puerto Rico. We spent a day relaxing at the hotel. Again the heat and humidity were intense. We spent the evening with another friend of Steven's. Steven has friends everywhere.

The friend gave us a great tour of San Juan then took us out to dinner at a wonderful restaurant.

Thursday morning we flew up to Ottawa.

At the airport, when they announced early boarding for the elderly, a third of the passengers got up and got in line.

It was a long journey to my parents place. After the flight, there were two hour of driving. Fortunately, when we checked into the hotel, the bed was *very* nice.

Next day, we went to my parents farm. Steven got a tour of the farm on a four wheeler. I think he enjoyed that a lot. Usually I travel to the farm for Christmas, when it's cold and snowy.  In the summer it's green and pastoral. I miss that.

We spent some of the afternoon in Pembroke where a local fiddling completion was going on. It was fun to see all the fiddling and fiddlers.

The next day was the main event—my parents 50th wedding anniversary. There where many guests. I was a little nervous about how to introduce Steven and how he would be received. Steven understands that my home town is very conservative, but he is not one to stay quiet if he is disrespected.

There were no problems. My brothers introduced Steven as my husband. At one point, just after meeting Steven, a cousin shouted over the room to her husband "This is Steven… Barry's Husband!"

We got many congratulations for getting married. Much of the family knew we were married though facebook, gossip, or from my parents. Yes my parents—they told people why they flew up to Seattle last July.

Back to the main event. It went very well. One of the Church ladies helped us stay organized and push things forward. We owe her a big thanks.

Everyone had a good time. Steven put on a slide show with many old pictures from my parents. It was wonderful. It made them cry. Thank you Steven!

We had dinner. We toasted them. It was great.

Next morning we went to Church. The minister was a guest minister. At one point in the sermon he admonished "Those people who have a lifestyle, who have parades for that lifestyle." He stopped there. Later Steven said he would have walked out of the Minister had pushed it further.

We left for Ottawa after Church. I gave Steven a quick tour around the Parliament buildings He was suitable impressed. The buildings are old and well maintained.

Early in the morning we flew back to Seattle.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

We are away in the carribean. It's beautiful, hot and humid. Hurricane Harvey has impacted much of a other Texas. Steven has friends there. They are OK. 

More in a bit.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A co worker took some eclipse photos. We had a 92% eclipse.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Eclipse was today. This morning at work there was a small gathering of folks taking pictures or using various eclipses glasses to watch. All fun

Over the weekend we went to an AA retreat. It was at a lodge on a nearby mountain. Most of the point of the retreat was to get AA members to build relationships. To be friends with each other. To work on being friends.

I'm not a member of AA, but Steven is. In fact, Steven was one of the organizers. I fit in well. Most of the sober men there now have there heads screwed properly, so this wasn't difficult. There were a few guys there who were a bit slow or forgetful. Part of the challenge was learning how to help these people along.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Today's weather, 86F and smoke...