Saturday, February 27, 2010
Just got back from the Westin Hotel (newly opened) in Koregaon Park, Pune. Since I've been here I'd noticed this monstrocity of a hotel in it's contruction phase. Massive gray modern building along the river near Kalyani Nagar. I'd drive by it almost every day wondering when it's completion date would arrive. WELL...it opened about two months ago, and only now have Remi and I gotten the opporunity to try it out.
Fantastic architecture! Very sleek, perhaps a tad cold, exterior, the inside however is much warmer. Tight security (Mary likey in light of the recent bombing event here in Pune), modern art lining the lobby, the elevators saturate your eyes with a shiny metallic golden floral wall decor, and the restaurants...OMG, must be like five or so just within the hotel itself.
The restaurant we ate at was called "Seasonal Tastes" (pictured above) and it was buffet style (came highly recommended to us by Remi's collegues). We went with our friends Charlotte and Guillaume, who happened to have two friends visiting from France.
The food was wonderful (for a buffet) included a lot of Asian foods, ahem, SUSHI!!!! Woot! We were thoroughly stuffed by dessert time. Desserts (which anyone who knows me knows is my FAVORITE course) were plentiful, along with an extensive cheese selection (which the French loved) they had ice creams, crème brulee, tiramisu, trifle, beetroot cake, fruit tarts, pistaschio bars, apple crumble, chocolate gateaux, mousses, Indian puddings, cookies, chocolates, plus every fruit under the sun drizzled with your choice of chocolate syrup or caramel. It was a relative dessert-lovers heaven.
After a massive overload of sweets + wine I was yawning and ready to pass out. They did bring us some coffee, which I managed to gulp down to waken myself back up.
In total, the buffet was 800 rupees per person (around $18.00)! Though this is still cheap for this class of buffet, still a tad pricey by Indian standards.
Oh, and my only complaint...the drinks took FOREVER. Just bringing us a glass of wine (which was overpriced) took around 20 minutes. I don't know why this was, but they could have made lot more money off of us if they were a bit more attentive with the alcohol. I mean, I ended up having 1 Bellini and 1 glass of wine (and the wine was all my own effort in flagging him down), but had the waiter been around more to offer a refill in a timely manner, I probably would have had 3-4 glasses easy.
Monday, February 22, 2010
"India has been reported as having the highest rate of human rabies in the world, primarily because of stray dogs." -Wikipedia
Glad I had my rabies vaccine before coming here. We have like 11 stray dogs -plus puppies- living on campus. These aren't the same strays you see in the states, oh hells no. We're talking like WILD dogs here. Like Animal Planet, Discovery Channel type wild. Occasionally in town you find some semi-friendly, but for the most part they're very scared of humans, and rightfully so. Most people consider them pests and will beat on them and chase them away. But at night they tend to gather together and form packs, these packs can be quite dangerous. I've seen a pack chase a little girl on a bike before...she got away unharmed, but was scary to witness. It's for this reason I know my Mom would never like India. She's an animal lover and it would kill here to see all the animals in pain here. It's quite shocking to see and very very VERY hard to ignore.
Labels: dogs in india
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I've started a creative writing class and yoga class. Both started last week. I picked up some new yoga mats for both Remi and I, yep it's true, Remi is taking his first yoga class ever!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
"Shaniwarwada (Marathi: शनिवारवाडा) is a palace fort in the city of Pune in western Maharashtra, India. It covers six and a quarter acres in central Pune. It was constructed in 1732 as the seat of the Peshwa(prime ministers of the Maratha Empire), and remained the political capital of the Empire until its annihilation. The fort itself was largely destroyed in 1828 by an unexplained fire, but the surviving structures are now maintained as a tourist and archaeological site." -WikipediaRemi and I visited this fort for the first time a few weeks ago, it's located in the heart of Pune. We haven't seen much in Pune actually, surprising I know. Aside from this fort and a Ganesh Temple on the outskirts of Pune, we've pretty much worked every day since we've been here. Not that we don't want to do a little sight-seeing, because we really do. It's just that Remi is so busy with school and it's hard to arrange it all. We're definitely putting forth more of an effort to see stuff every weekend. I have been putting a lot of effort into our upcoming vacation to Nepal. Remi really wants to add Tibet to our vacation, I'm trying to squeeze it in but it's a heck of a lot more hassle to go from Kathmandu to Tibet. Not only is Tibet surprisingly expensive, but you require a tourist Visa to enter China, which means even though you can take a bus from Nepal to Lhasa, they will check your passport at the border. So basically it's a lot more money if we decide to go to Tibet as well. However Remi looks at this as a golden opportunity, if we're in Nepal anyway, might as well check out Tibet too? Either way, we really need to get out of our apartment more and start exploring, we've been here half a year already and we've barely seen a thing! That is all about to change though!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
It feels a little weird to be writing about this since never in my life have I experienced something hitting this close to home.
Just last night around 7:30pm a bomb went off at the German Bakery (pictured here pre-attack) in Koregaon Park here in Pune. It's strange on so many levels, but mostly because everyone knows this bakery. It's not just a bakery, they serve coffee, chai, and organic health food. It's famous in Pune, it's right next to the Osho Ashram and is always filled with foreigners in their maroon robes. This was the first place I met Julia (the AIC on-site Director), faculty from campus and students go here to hangout, it's a hot spot that's been in Pune for years. We heard the news last night, Tom (colleague of Remi's here on campus) called us to make sure we were OK, he was in town and saw all the streets closed off and fire trucks. Luckily, no one from school or AIC were involved.
Labels: terror attack
Friday, February 12, 2010
This is a picture of the front yard of the AIC residential house. Whenever I pull up, Ramu is often the first one I see sitting in the yard, usually talking to himself. Since he is not old enough for school yet he stays home and finds ways of entertaining himself.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I tell you what, electricity is truly a wonder. Every day in the modern world people take it for granted. You go throughout your daily lives never giving it a moments thought. Unlike me, who (not by choice) thinks about it multiple times per day.
I meant to write this sooner regarding our weekend. But I've had issues uploading the photos and I really wanted to post a slide show of Lonavala. The internet here is such poop, we have no issues downloading, but uploading even just three pictures can take twenty minutes! ><;
Sunday, February 7, 2010
I know this is a tad off subject since I am in India and this is my "India blog." But in researching India, I find many blogs or sites claiming their unwavering love for India. Many of them calling India their "soul culture".
Monday, February 1, 2010