Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year! And finally some pictures.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!!

And a very jolly New Year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

why we don't have a christmas picture

Sunday, December 23, 2007

a few winter pictures

Homo marcus in the wild

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merry christmas

matt took this a week or two ago, and intended to edit it and post it eventually, but I just found it on the camera and so present it to you in its rambling and wobbly native state... videos take FOREVER to load, next time I'll edit it... (and maybe take out the inquisition of the arm....)


Wednesday, December 19, 2007



Tuesday, December 18, 2007




By Ben Clay

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A few last images

I'll be heading home soon. I can't wait, but I've had a great time for two weeks. A few last photos for the blog. See you all!
(Note, I finally got to see a very nice temple, but there wasn't room to get a good shot, so this is what I could get).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The street

This is a gritty Indian street of small businesses (yes, they sell marble slabs and chickens). Notice the "TechWeb" center behind. I'll post a contrasting video of a modern mall -- considerably nicer.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas Lists

Older siblings, please reply with suggestions for books, cds, or such things in the comments...... (Younger siblings, I already have some ideas for you two..., but if you have any ideas post them also for the general edification!)

A day at the office

Above: Shopping with the guys.
A day at the office.
I wake up at 7AM and meet Rajeev for breakfast at 7:30AM. The breakfast bar has fruits: melons, mangoes, pineapples. A man will make eggs to order. There is a selection of Indian food and some western. After eating, I order a coffee and Rajeev tea. We go out front where our car meets us at 8AM. At this time of the morning it takes about 25 minutes to get to the office. Later it will take an hour of squeezing through wild traffic melees. Rajeev and I are the first ones to start in the morning in the large room of Investment Management IT staff. We have water bottles waiting for us, since we are guests. A few people filter in around 9AM, but it is common to start at 10 or 11AM, and to work correspondingly late. I guess this allows more overlap with European and American hours. But this makes for long days for Rajeev and me, since we finish between 7:30 and 9:30PM.

The technology is completely up-to-date, with dual flat-screen monitors for everyone, and conference and training rooms with state of the art HD TVs, computer-controlled screens, etc. There is Morgan Stanley cafeteria on the floor that serves veg and non-veg lunches for under a dollar. Fortunately I like spicy Indian food, and have impressed (ahem!) the team that I can eat and enjoy it. Rajeev is a natural lecturer, giving out streams of information, encouraging his students when they do well, or chiding when they forget, and assuming a father-like authority. He even assures that Rucha had proper rides home late at night, as she still lives with her parents. I am covering basics of the fixed income markets, calculations, and overviews of
our risk systems. Our "students" ask a lot of questions and work hard to understand -- very gratifying.

The traffic and pollution is terrible heading back home. Traffic is a mix of cars, trucks, rickshaws, motor scooters, bikes, and people, all with no fixed lanes. The horn is used liberally. Things are really humming in the evening, though, with all the little road-side businesses busy. In the nicer areas these businesses are in buildings and look like crowded Brooklyn
neighborhoods. Many others are just the way they were 30 years ago -- a bicycle repair shop in a small shack made of scrap wood, with a tarp or corrugated steel over the top. Similar looking shops are restaurants, car repair, shoe repair, marble suppliers, glass dealers, hair cutters, charcoal suppliers, or anything at all. Somehow the drivers are never angry, no matter how close the other car comes, or who cuts them off -- perhaps because next time they may get to squeeze ahead.

I wind down the day at the hotel in my comfortable room with room service and Indian TV, which is full of both Indian and American programming, not to mention a BBC channel a Russian one, and maybe even French.
So that is a typical day, or was last week when I started writing this and Rajeev was around.
See you all soon.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hey everyone. Hey to all of you who have finals!
In the next week my first semester of college is going to summed up by all of my various teachers. yay.
I have some pretty cool final projects though. Like I'm making a video giving you step by step instructions on how to fly. I'm also making a spinning top, and I'm painting and drawing myself. And coming up with a topic for an english paper, our teacher had no idea what we should write for our last paper, instead he told us all about Mr Rogers and how he was his hero. My english teacher's so cool...
Right now I'm avoiding piles and piles of art history stuff. My roommate's doing the same thing, we just had a 20 minute talk about ramen noodles and scary dogs. Desperate.
I'm really excited about seeing all of you family people over christmas, and having christmas, and a break, all of it!! Yay!!!
I'm lulling myself into a false sense of security, I'm the hare, homework is the tortoise, I better get back to work.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Juhu beach

This morning Juhu beach felt quite different to me. I went out about 7AM Sunday and there was a stream of people walking along the beach. Mostly well-off people out for exercise, enjoyment, meditation? A few joggers joined the walkers.
Several boys were playing cricket, with sticks in the sand to mark the wicket. Then two boys playing volleyball. By 8AM there were volleyball nets up, more cricket players, two men throwing a frisbe, a group playing soccer in uniform, two boys practicing Tai Kwon Do, and other boys practicing flips in the sand. Occasionally there was an old table piled with coconuts for sale.
I wish I were more bold about taking photos, as the opportunities are endless if I were willing to be the tourist pest. I am the only obviously American person among thousand anyways, so does it matter if I stick out even more?
But I am enjoying the morning and looking forward to the breakfast spread downstairs.
Cheers all! Suprabhaat.
Love, Dad

Indian streets. Crowded like London, but a different feel (chicken, anyone?).

India certainly has nicer cars than last time I was here. And all the pedal rickshaws have been replaced by little motorized ones (150,000 in Mumbai, according to my driver). The funny thing is that there were pedal rickshaws in London. But the nice things are mixed right in with the run-down and decrepid. Even where a famous Bollywood star lives doesn't look that nice (several security guards at the entrance), though I'm sure there are spots that are lush tropical paradises when you get away from the crowded neighborhoods of Mumbai.

It was in the upper 80's today. A lovely tropical feel with a light breeze. My hotel is on the Bay of Bengal. Not exactly an idealized tropical beach situation. The beach is public and not too clean (the hotel patio is walled off from it). When I walked to the beach I had to avoid two little girls who were begging from me in a very friendly, but insistent fashion. Later a man wanted to sell me maps. Just the slightest encouragement and you can't get rid of some of the "sales" people. I think that any shells or things of interest have been scoured from the beach.

The people are polite and helpful, though generally reserved (excluding those mentioned above). The taxi driver invited me to sit in the front seat so I could take photos. We talked and he took me down side streets so I could see more of Mumbai.

Big Cricket matches are going on now, I think (I was told in London that India and Pakistan have big games going on). The TV does have a lot of both soccer and cricket. Oh my, what is an "over" and what about a "wicket"? Maybe I'll figure it out while here.
Both western and Indian movies are running on numerous TV channels, along with Indian music videos and other entertainment. The commercials are all Indian, and at least as good as those on our TVs. The culture easily and liberally borrows from others, but makes it all very much Indian in the end.
There are lots of parties going on at the neighboring hotels and this one. Lots of lights, music, food, fancified tables and chairs, etc. I wish I knew someone so I could join a party, but I guess I had better get rest anyways.

It should be a very interesting two weeks!