Wednesday, March 30, 2011


i have not updated the blog recently. my sincerest apologies. since autobahn, a lot has happened - namely celebrating my 28th bday in Istanbul with my better half! what a great time we had... i must say. and those pics and updates will be coming shortly. i'm in the midst of writing a few posts, and apology for the delay.

hope you are well. please do get in touch with me to say hi and update me on life as well!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Growing up in Thailand you grow quite weary of Massage Parlors, one of which - as far as I can remember - was referred to as "Darling:Turkish Bath"

For those of you who have visited us in Thailand you know exactly what I'm talking about. There's an old fluorescent sign that hangs - more like dangles - on the side of the road as you enter the street in which my family resides. In pink letters it reads "Darling" and underneath, an explanation: "Turkish Bath" - so you can imagine my first impression was not the greatest.

Nonetheless, as we were walking the streets of Turkey and eavesdropping on tour guides and/or taking recommendations from friends, one of the resounding/recurring themes was to check out the Hammam, aka Turkish Bath aka Darling.

I was slightly torn at this point. I knew that if I were in Thailand it would take a lot more than some recommendations to get me to enter Darling. In fact, I think the only way that I would do such a thing is if I were in one of those HazMat suits!

Trusting in my our friends' suggestions we decided to check out Çemberlitaş, a very traditional Hammam built in 1584 and established by "Nurbanu Sultan, wife of Selim II and mother of Murat III, for the purpose of bringing in revenue to support the Valide-i Atik Charity Complex in Toptasi, Üsküdar" - if you know me you know I'm a sucker for charities so I decided that it was a sign and this place here would be just the experience that could rid me of my preconceived notions!

the entrance to Çemberlitas

And that is how I ended up experiencing one of the most painful baths of my life :)

Monday, March 14, 2011


For those of you that don't know, and I'm hoping you don't, the highways in Germany have no speed limit. They are the last surviving pieces of road in the world of well-constructed open highways, I might imagine, that have this trend. I know there are some other places, but I think Germany has the most extensive setup.

And this past weekend, when I was on my way to Berlin, I was driving.

Now before you freak out, I was in a Peugeot 207, which has a max speed of 210km/hr which means, essentially, that it can only hit about 150 - 160 km/hr (approx 100mph) before it starts to shake a little bit. So no, I wasn't really speeding. Did not get to more like it! But what an experience it was.

You look in the rearview mirror and there are no cars so you're moseying on over to Berlin, doop-di-doo, not a care in the world and then suddenly there's a car right behind you and it is gaining at such speed that you might as well be standing still on the road in your underpants. Why I put in the underpants does not matter as much as the sense of being pretty much helpless.

And you see the ABBs of cars. Not the ABCs. ABBs - Audi, Benz, BMW. Every so often a Scoda or a Ford show up and they are puttering along just as I was, but trying desperately to keep up with the German cars.

One thing I will say though, is that the German sense of efficiency and control and order and whatnot, is unbelievable! They have no speed limit so when there is something written - say 60 or 80 kmph, they will go at that speed. Not 1 above or below. And, all said and done, pretty decent drivers.

What an experience. Glad I can check that off my list. Not sure I'll be driving through the Autobahn anytime again or soon - but - BUT - if I do, it'll have to be in something a little more speedy, which again means I don't think I'll be driving through it as my better half has reminded me that if I do, I am in big trouble :)

Then again, she DOES want to see Germany and sometimes it is about the EXPERIENCE!

Mom - Dad - seriously, I was not speeding. There was no speed limit!!! AHHHHHH HAHA...

Ok people, let's be serious. kmph vs mph and do the conversions. The fastest the German cars were going was about 130 mph which I know that some of you have either done and/or seen done on the Umrikan highways. No biggie.

Great sights in Berlin!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Phoot Pasa Thai Lor?

I had an amazing realization when I was dining with a friend from Bangkok, his friends from work/past and my buddy from INSEAD...

Basically, we were in a Chinese restaurant and the waiter was Laotian. He spoke Thai. So did the rest of us at the table. Except for my Chinese buddy from INSEAD. And he had this look on this face - how is it, that I'm sitting in Germany at a Chinese restaurant, and I'm the only one unable to converse with the wait-staff! The irony was killing him.

But something else interesting that happened was that I realized that no one in Europe was very excited or taken aback by random foreigners speaking Thai. In the States if/when I bust out into Thai with wait-staff at restaurants, they get so excited that they end up chatting with me for a good 15 - 20 minutes. Sometimes even the Chef comes out to say Hi. First off, as an Indian, I am not as "expected" to speak Thai but moreso, and I realized this since I've been in Europe for a couple of months now, but generally speaking, Europeans speak several languages. The locals speak their own language and depending on their geographic neighbors (and their proximity) another 1 or 2. For example folks in Luxembourg speak German, French, and English.

So when an Indian walks in speaking Thai, they smile and converse with you, if you speak the language. Wait-staff at the hotel we stayed at in Berlin is Thai. She smiled when I spoke Thai, and addressed me in Thai thereafter, but that shock I normally saw in the States was nowhere to be seen. Same thing in Berlin - our first meal was a Thai meal at a Japanese-Thai restaurant near Checkpoint Charlie. The wait-staff smiled when I spoke Thai to them, responded in Thai, gave me tips for visiting the city, etc... but they were calm and composed.

I guess it is because so many people speak more than two languages that you are glad to see a fellow speaker, but not too surprised. Exact opposite in the States, where so many folks get by on English. One of the other reasons why I'm so particular, in some senses, with wanting to raise my children (craziness!) back in Asia if possible. Or putting them in an international school. Also need to brush up on my languages so I can be a good example! My rusted Thai, Hindi, French, Oriya, Tamil all need some exercise!!!

Speaking of, time to hit the gym!

Yum Woon Sen (Glass Noodle Salad), Kaeng Kiew Waan (Green Curry), Kapow Kai (Basil Chicken)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Harold & Kumar...

for the past couple of weeks i've been planning a trip to berlin with a friend from my group. he's canadian-chinese. and if any of you have spent time in usa you will (or at least i think you will) automatically think bout the good ol movie - harold and kumar go to to white castle.

anyways, the pressure's been on since we planned this trip, for us to have a wild & crazy trip with stories galore. and to be honest, we both just wanted to go on a roadtrip, hang out, and chillax because we just got done with exams. also, berlin because one of my close friends from bangkok is going to be there. good excuse/reason to head there!

so. exams finish. and just before we hit the road, i head to my room to pack and realize, via email, that i had booked the hotel for the wrong weekend :)

let the stories begin, eh? not sure if its self-perpetuating/self-fulfilling or what, but that's that.

the drive through france to luxembourg was great. and then when we got into luxembourg, we spent a good 1 hour driving through the entire country trying to find our hotel, which i thought was booked near "centre-ville" - of course, luxembourg being really small, a couple of kilometres = very, very, very far from city centre!!! but, it was a fun drive. really beautiful. i mean, it was flat like the drive to nebraska, but still - was just more beautiful. the houses, the farmland... something about it, was very beautiful.

glad to have taken some time off. about to head to luxembourg to check out the city and grab a bite, before driving to berlin, which is on the other side of germany! regardless, should be fun. won't have much email/internet/phone access, but def have quite a few blog posts simmering in my head - just with updates on life and whatnot.

and to top it off, last night, while in my dream-land - first time sleeping more than 5hrs since exam prep started two weeks ago - and i resolved one of the exam questions, which also made me realize that i got it wrong on the final final (taken yesterday afternoon). forgot to relever the unlevered beta.

oh beta, why have you forsaken meeeeeeeeeee! no more dreams about exams... hope you're well! pics to come, promise.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


why, don't ask. some things just make sense. and you know it! march 8th, for starters ;)

first day of exams. group exam - check. prices and markets (microecon) - check. And get this, the prof posted the solutions while we were sitting in the exam halls!!! how hilarious and, as one student put it, wicked sense of humour. with a U.

time to crash. stats and financial accounting tomorrow. another race to hit the tides before i lose the wave to carrrrrrrrry me. w00t w00t!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I've realized that there's a ramp up to most things in life.

Like, say, for example, maybe, studying.

Now I'm not saying don't study or I don't. I'm just saying studying - or rather - reviewing for exams, can be tedious and at times overwhelming. However, once you get in the groove, hours can pass by and nothing stops you. Suddenly your housemate walks over and says, "Yo it is 2am... you've been here since 7pm" and you think, what the foil?

But to get to that 7pm, it takes you all day!!! Seriously. I sit here (obviously having lost the battle currently), trying to concentrate and I know - I know in heart of hearts - that the slightest distraction that makes itself available can unhinge my concentration if it has not as yet reached the point of no return...

D*mn you wireless internet - why must you make the world available at my fingertips!

Ok, time to try again...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hmm Mmmhmm MHMMM!

Exams in a week, so there's a lot of studying/cramming going on.

In the midst of that madness, we just got our results for where we'll be located during the last 2 periods at INSEAD.

To remind you every Period is 2 months and there's a summer break (July - August) in between. Anyhow, this is for P3, P4, P5. I, thankfully, got my bids and will be in France until June (P3) and then somewhere for the summer (hopefully an internship) and Singapore from then onwards!

The points/bidding system was pretty ridiculous and also quite interestingly timed seeing as we are studying Game Theory in MicroEcon! Hilarity. If we had applied what we had learned there I think it might have served everyone's purposes. But maybe not. Who knows!

Anyhow, there's exam preps going on - and people are also trying to plan their vacations post P1 for 3-4 days before P2 starts. I'll be going to Berlin - roadtrip!

So the Hmm MmmHmm is for late night Indian food :)

Perfect remedy for long hours of studying... or is it? Shucks - Indian food kinda sits in your tummy and then you just want to lie down and then its all over!

OK time to go try and be productive before the bed beckons (luckily I'm in school and there are no beds nearby...)

Hope all's well with all y'all. My apologies on not replying to emails recently..................... there's some raita left. BRB!

P.S. when all you're doing is studying, food seems to be the only break that you feel good taking, hence all the food-themed posts recently. Plus, not for you to worry, since I'm OK now, but I did have a short bout of food-poisoning last week. Lasted only half a day but man oh man... Sucks!

GYM time tomorrow. GNITE!