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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Day at the Office and Happy Temple Hunting

A Day at the Office
Please step closer and have a look at my office. I invite you to join me on a day at my office and meet my office mates. They go by beautiful names like Manjunath, Maheshwari, Keerthana, Genus, Arun, Shweta, Vyoma, Narendra, Mukesh, etc. There is a huge variety of names but at first all the faces looked pretty much the same to me and it was hard to memorize the names. But now, after almost three weeks at work, I even know the difference between Sashi and Sitendra (especially since he got his head shaved two days ago). A good way to learn the names is to read them off the badges everybody has to wear - the funny thing is just that all the difficult names get shortened. My badge says "Flavio P". The receptionist was getting a bit tired after seven letters.
A good work day usually starts out around 8:30am with an extensive breakfast. I fell in love with a dish called Aloo Paratha. It is a flat-bread stuffed with potato and is served with yogurt and pickel (spicey stuff). While eating I chat with my work colleagues about relationships, girls, wedding and travel plans - most of the time we are gossiping about other people in the meal hall. After breakfast we always have a Chai Tea (with extra ginger for me).
Later at around 12:45pm, after getting some work done, we go for lunch. The food variety is humongous and so is the crowd trying to get food. Once we sit at a table the food sharing will start. There are usually tasty and less tasty dishes on the table. So what happens is that Manjunath usually goes ahead and just picks what he likes from any plate on the table. Of course it is expected that you steal some food back from his plate. Indians are much more open about sharing the same plate with another person. One has to be especially careful about the dessert. It can be gone in less than a second... Indians do not consume any beverages during the meal. Only after washing the hands they will start drinking water.
After lunch we will head back to our office. I am usually busy emptying my mailbox which has a ridiculously small quota of 25MB. Every single day I have to take a decision to keep the humorous emails of my Indian peers or not... At around 5:30pm I will call my driver to meet me down at the reception and we would head back to the apartment...
Check out my office pictures.

Happy Temple Hunting
The first big weekend trip in Bangalore was to Mysore to see the palace there and to Belur, Halebid and Somnathpur to see Hoysala temples. Simply check out the Happy Temple Hunting pictures. There is not much to describe.

Indian Prices (40 INR = 1 CHF = 1 USD)
Now I want to give you a feeling for Indian prices. 1 kg of beef is the same price as 10 liters of water or one McChicken Meal Large. Check it out yourself.

1 kg beef = 120 INR
1 kg mango = 70 INR
1 kg watermelon = 11 INR

1 liter petroleum = 42 INR
1 liter water = 12 INR
1 liter Coca Cola = 35 INR

1 km in an auto-rickshaw = 7 INR
1 km in a Toyota Innova = 12 INR

1 vegetarian meal in my meal hall = 36 INR
1 non vegetarian meal in my meal hall = 55 INR
1 McChicken Menu Large = 109 INR

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