Feb. 24th, 2011

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The bathroom door here at the office is 6' high. I am 6'6". The top edge is hard!

You do the math.
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well, we are going to the Ajanta and Ellora caves this weekend near the city of Aurangabad. We are actually travelling with the husband of one of the developers in the office, who has been before, and will be playing informal guide.
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Tonight, we tour M.G. road.

Seems like it's kind of Pune's version of Bank st. or Younge st. Long strip full of stores and restaurants.
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What fun.

We went to M.G. road, which is the central strip of a network of market streets. Little shops, food stalls, restaurants, and many people, most of whom are trying to sell you something. We started at a handicraft emporium, a fairly big store full of handcrafted items. Carvings, tapestries, clothes, and so forth. I purchased 3 wooden figurines (Ganesh, happy buddha, and Shiva), and a hand wovern carpet with silk fibres (it will be a wall hanging). I actually negotiated a pretty good bargain (retail 11,280 rupees down to 8000). I left my purchases with our car and driver, and went on walkabout. I got an exceptionally good rumball for about a quarter, we walked all over enjoying the culture of being hounded by merchants (which is unlike me), and stopped in a local vegetarian restaurant for supper. We had no idea what we ordered, but spotted a mixed plate special for 85 rupees, and decided to chance it. The restaurant was packed, the tables were clean, and the employees all had uniforms and hairnets, which suggested to us a restaurant that takes care to be clean. The meal was delicious, 2 veggie dishes, rice, soup, gulab jamun, raita, papadum, and chapati.

My colleague also bought a flag (a tradition for him everywhere he travels), from an enterprising street vendor who offered to find one for him, for a 50 rupee commission. He found it sure enough. We got a bit lost finding the car again, since he was parked in front of the handicraft store, which had since closed. We walked by it twice, looking for the big brightly lit store trying to recognize other landmarks.

By the way, jaywalking in India is actually a lot of fun. I feel like I'm in a game of Frogger.

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