Saturday, November 29, 2008

G'day Mate.

Greetings. So I went to Australia and it was quite a lot of fun. We rented a car and put 3000km on it in a week. Many adventures ensued. It's a neat place with a lot of nice scenery and nice people. Crazy animals though. Had to drive around dodging kangaroos crossing the road and what not. I never did see a live Wombat, but plenty of dead ones on the road.

Here's me with my rental car:

This is me at my first Australian beach. The southern part of the country was pretty chilly.
We drove from Melbourne to Sydney along the coast, I have a lot of photos like this:
And this...
The whole drive was really relaxing, except for occasional slip when I forgot which side of the road to drive on and we almost died. Here's a video Stephanie made of me driving, complete with music.
video
Here's one of many kangaroos I viewed on the journey:
They have koalas there too, which apparently are retarded and have a brain the size of a walnut that just floats around in their water filled heads (seriously). One walked in front of our car as well, but Stephanie grabbed the wheel and swerved away, but I almost got him. Next time buddy.All along the coast there's small towns, we visited a lot of them, but until you get close to Sydney there's very little populace. Apparently, Australia only has some 24 million total citizens, I don't know if they count Aborigines as people or not.
Here's a photo of me atop the city of Sydney, over my left shoulder between the buildings you see the opera house, and over my right shoulder is one of their famous bridges.

We took a cruise around the bay. This is a photo of me looking really excited about it.



After Sydney we drove up to the Blue Mountains which were pretty awesome. Don't worry after this there's no more photos of me posing in front of stuff, so you can open your eyes now. We then drove along a major highway all the way back to Melbourne. Even the inland parts of Australia are very scenic, He drove past a lot of this:

All and all the trip was a lot of fun. I have a lot of photos and have posted most of the at the site below. I'll be back in the USA on Tuesday! See you soon!



Australia

Monday, November 3, 2008

Howdy Stranger.

So it's been a while, I know. I've been quite busy. It also doesn't help that the day to day here doesn't excite me like it used to. The crazy driving and cows on the road and trash everywhere and silly toilets and backwards Indians and lack of beef are all daily fixtures of my life now. It's no longer funny to be stuck behind a cow in traffic, it's annoying. My health has suffered greatly here as well, the random strange ailments are never-ending, but let's not get into that. So what's new? Not much around here. Matthew Good put out a live cd, Alkaline Trio put out an over-produced CD, and Rise Against put out an Offspring CD. Madden 09 has been good to me. My internet bill was over $4o0 this month. I'm leaving for Australia in 3 days.
I went back on down to Mysore and another place called Dubare in the southern part of Karnataka. Here's a few photos to share my good times with you.

So we went to a Buddhist monastery somewhere south of here. I found out that Buddhists sure love their Pepsi.

Then we went for a raft trip down a completely flat river. Vikrant is the dude on the right. Luckily we paid some sucker to paddle for us most of the way. chump. We spied elephants getting bathed from the raft.
That's the look of accomplishment you only see on my face if I've found Mountain Dew at a random soda stand, and I'm enjoying it on a rock in the middle of a river.
Traffic was really bad going back to Bangalore, so Me, Vikrant, Stephanie, and her mom just took an elephant instead of a car so that we could stomp on any cars that got in the way.
And they all lived contently ever after.
The End.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Destination: Kerala

Last Weekend my friend Ravi got married. It was an arranged marriage. So, myself and 8 of the guys form work drove 12 hours down to a city in Kerala called Guruvayoor. We rented a van/bus thing. Here's a photo from the drive down:



The wedding itself was pretty crazy, they were getting married at a Hindu Temple, but so were a bunch of other people, so they got in line with all the other couples and one by one the couples were married. There was something like 20,000 people at the Temple site and we were packed in there pretty tight. But it was a neat experience.
Ravi and his wife getting married.

On the way back we decided to go to the coast of the Arabian Sea. We gave this fisherman some rupees to take us out on the boat. The boat was very unstable and once we were pretty far out I come to find out that more than half these people can't swim. And of course the ones that couldn't swim were the guys trying to flip the boat. Good times.
Guess which one is me.
Kerala has a lot of elephants. After the beach we stopped at this cool elephant farm place where they had over 50 elephants. That was fun.

After I got back I was really sick and had malaria or something, but I'm starting to feel better, but that's why I haven't updated this thing in a while, plus I've been very busy at work on the days I didn't call in sick. Football season is underway and so my life is improving week by week.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Choke.

The air pollution in Bangalore is so bad that the night sky is an orangish-pink color. And of course you can't ever see stars. And if there's a lightning storm above the smog layer, the flashes aren't white, they're a pinkish color. It's pretty neat. The smog also makes for some tremendous sunrises and sunsets. Sorry my attempt at a photo didn't turn out too well given the darkness.
I also think it's funny that the "Karnataka State Pollution Control Board" building has a bunch of trash all over the place in front of it. I wish I had a photo of that.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why must we stay where we don't belong?


Not too much is going on these days. I had Doritos yesterday, and that was wonderful. Stephanie's brother is visiting from America. I'm busy with work as usual. My Slingbox is on the fritz, right before football season. I had a decent fantasy draft in the family league. Learning German has slowed to a crawl. About 4 months until I'm outta here, I'm pretty happy about that. I still have no idea where I'm going to live after leaving India, but I'm sure I'll be okay no matter what. Ideas?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Don't Break Me

So, I flew to New york, stayed 4 days, got a new visa and then flew back to India. New York City was pretty cool. I had a hotel in Manhattan. I had enough free time to do some exploring. I went to the top of the empire state building, you take this fast elevator that makes your ears pop like when you're taking off on a plane. Pretty cool views of the city too.


I also checked out times Square but I didn't have a camera for photos.
I walked around central park for a while and stopped to watch some softball teams play each other.


I went and saw Eddie Vedder play a pretty sweet show.


I also saw a comedy show, and went to a really cool blues club and watched a great blues band, and saw a lot of other parts of the New York nightlife. There's a lot of gay people to hit on you there, if that's your thing.
And of course I went and saw the statue of liberty.

All-in-all, a pretty good trip, I didn't really feel too great most of the time, but at least I didn't have to work and my expenses were covered by TRX. I'm glad to be back in Bangalore though. Anyways, I didn't take a whole lot of pictures, but here's a link to my photo gallery and some videos of Eddie Vedder.

New York

Also go here, I thought this was quite humorous.
Peace.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Deported

Welp, they've I've concluded that India has the stupidest immigration department in the history of the world. Since I didn't register before I'd been in India for 180 days, they'd like to deport me back to the USA. But to avoid official deportation, which would suck pretty hard, the idea is that I have to pay $20 dollars a day for every day I was in india w/o registering (probably ttl around $700), turn in a crapload of paperwork, and then fly back to America for a couple days before coming back to India. See? It's retarded.

So, TRX'll obviously pay the fees and for my flight to the usa. The current plan is that on Monday, TRX'll fly me to New York, put me up in a hotel, and then fly me back to India 2 days later. Flying that much in one week will be lame, something like 36 hours on planes, but at least I get some sweet Frequest flyer miles and a free (for me) couple days in New York. Maybe I'll hook up with old Stevesie and eat vegan food.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Don't Mind The Gap

HI, It's been a while. How's everything going? He did? What jerk. you should break up with him. He's no good. Me? Well, it's been a busy couple weeks. Where to begin... Well, I went back to Nandi Hill, which i got stranded on the first time, but no real issues this time. Except the insane monkeys that tried to kill me. I drove in India too, left side of the road is stange, but I survived. The next weekend, I hung out wiht co-workers visiting from the USA, they were cool and we had fun.

So I bought a plane ticket and a hotel in The Maldives it set me back about 900 dollars. Steph, Tim, and myself went to the airport and immigration would not let me leave India. So apparently i'm an Illegal since I didn't register, so I can't leave india. So I'm out the money for the trip and spent the weekend chilling here in Bangalore. Which had 9 bombs go off on Friday. It's funny how Indians see bombings as a reason to take the day off. Like a snow day in the US. Indians have a "Bomb day". Obviously, I didn't get blowed up, nor do I care about a couple crappy bombs going off a few kilometers from my house. I'm just heavy like that.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The trip - Part 2

Okay, so I'm finally getting around to the other cities I visited. After Shimla, we took the deadly ride back down the mountain and went to a city called Chandigarh.

Chandigarh is the capitol city of two states, and is the cleanest and most organized city in India. It's really just a bunch of gardens and malls all on neat city blocks. We went through a couple gardens and a rock garden, but there's really not much to share about this place. It was kind of like a break from being in India.
More photos here.

chandigarh

After Chandigarh, Rusty and I parted ways with Stephanie back in Delhi, then Rusty and I hired a driver to take us to Jodhpur. That drive was pretty bad, our car didn't have headlights and we had to drive against uncoming traffic for a few hours. Dispite the lack of headlights, our driver still drove very aggrssively. I'm lucky to have made it.

We finally got to Jodhpur, which is in the middle of the desert. It's called the blue city, because everyone in the old part of town has painted their homes blue.

Jodhpur had lots of forts and palaces for Rusty and I to visit. It was a very interesting town. Apparently, here and the next two cities we visited no white people ever go there, so Rusty and I were a specticle. More photos:
Jodhpur

After Jodhpur, Rusty and I went to ahmedabad and Surat. Neither place was anything great, we basically just walked around a lot getting stared at like we were lost. Also, both had lotsa of beggars to keep us harrassed.
Here's some guys who were just excited to meet westerners and they took a bunch of pictures of us, so we took one of them, with me.
It was difficult to get outta there, but we finally reached Mumbai (formerly Bombay). Mumbai was awesome, a lot of really old architecture and cobble-stone streets. It's also very modern, and being westerns there did not make you a specticle. Rusty and I got offered roles as extras in a Bollywood movie, a London night-club, but we had to turn down the job due to time concerns. Anyways, Mumbai was great, probably my favorite city in India. There's some photos of Mumbai here:
Mumbai


So that's that. Check out the pictures.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sweet Home Alabangalore

Hi there, how are you? I just got back from a 2 week trip traveling in northern India. I went to a bunch of places, saw a few sights and just checked stuff out. Traveling in India is pretty tiring, nothing really very efficient about it. Nothing's on time, no streets are marked for finding out where you're going and whatnot. I'll take you on a tour with me to the places I went to. Follow me.

Life has taught me that it's always best to start with a video of a cute monkey, so here's a short one I made on my trip.
video

Okay, now that that's out of the way...

Leg 1. First we went to a city called Jaipur. Here's a picture.



We were a bit hesitant about peeping Jaipur because there were some bombings there a few weeks before and all around unrest, but I live life dangerously, so I went. The place had craploads of sights to see and whatnot, so we spent most of the time touring old forts and palaces. The picture above is from a car on a mountain road on the way to a fort, looking down on the lake palace. Jaipur is also where I found out that Rusty is afraid of revolving restaurants.
You can see all my pictures of Jaipur (with comments!) by clicking below.

Jaipur

After Jaipur, we planned on rollin on over to Agra and staying there a few night. However, the gull dern Gujjars (lower caste) were blocking the highways (to protest the gov't), so we had to change our plans and headed on up to Delhi.

New Delhi is the capitol city and home to 13 million people. As you can imagine lots of hussle and bustle and pollution live there too. But it's definitely a neat place with lots going on an many historic sites. We spent one day touring sites, and the rest of the time there just walking on all the crazy streets full of shops. Here are a few photos from New Delhi.

This is the India gate. It apparently had a bunch of jewels and crap embedded in it before the British took them all.

This is Muhatma Gandhi's grave except that he was cremated.

This is the lotus temple, very cool.

There's more photos from New Delhi at the link below.

New Delhi

We took a day trip from Delhi to Agra since the Gujjars hadn't blocked that road yet. Agra is a relatively small town but it houses the Taj Mahal, which is one of the 7 wonders of the world I'm told. We also went and saw the Agra Fort while we were there.

So that there's the Taj Mahal, it's solid white marble and it doesn't really look real even when you're there. It appears to float on air.


Here's me posing in front of the Taj.

And here's a photo of the Agra Fort that we toured.
For more photos of these sites and of Rusty getting attacked by a monkey go the the link below.

Agra


Next place on the trip was to Shimla, it's a relatively small city high in the Himlayan mountains.

Being in the mountains was sweet, you could look down and see clouds and half the time you were in a cloud.

There were a lot of monkeys in Shimla, Rusty and I had to rent monkey sticks (5 rupees) to defend ourselves.

Here's me standing on top of a mountain. Rusty and I walked approx. 15 miles in one day much of it uphill, but it was really fun. Also very tiring.

There's more pictures of Shimla if you click below, but the beauty really doesn't translate to photos, you kinna had to be there.

Shimla


So I went several other place and have a lot photos, but I'm gonna post all this now and I'll put the rest up in a few days. I'm sure glad to be back, even though my Xbox died (got it fixed) and I was deathly ill for the last few days (i'm better).