a India Rant and Raves: January 2007

India Rant and Raves

Globetrekker's life in India starting Oct 06 ... a first hand account ...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sunny side up fried or scrambled ?

"Good morning, I'd like to have a continential breakfast"

"Eggs Sir ?"

"Yes, I'd like to have them sunny side up please."

"Sir, fried or scrambled ?"

"Sunny side up"

"Umm, is it fried or scrambled"

"ok, never mind"

Sunday, January 28, 2007

30min vs 99 days

It's not a secret that things are irritatingly inefficient in this land. What we are used to having in like the blink of a eye takes super long to happen in this land.

I was supposed to get this document which allows me to enter restricted premises in my work area. and well, i know there are certain rules to follow, certain clearances to do etc. I thought Aus was bad (err, okie they did have a clause that allowed me to get it straight away thanks) at 8 weeks but as the chinese saying goes, one mountain is always higher than the other.

What normally takes like a 30 min process took me 99 days. from 20Oct06 till 29Jan07. Within this period, of course I did my fair share of illegal things, sneaking into the area without a proper document but well, what should I do if my area of work is inside there ? So......

I'll tell my great grandson and granddaughter about this.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

AC or Aircon

Here in India people say "AC" ? "Eric, turn on the AC please ?"

Well, nothing big but as you know subconsciously we Singaporeans are used to calling it "Aircon". In India this is unheard of. Serious. You walk into an shop selling Air Conditioners, and say "I wish to buy an Air Con", they will say "What's that ?"

Well. Different nomenclature for same things.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

7x10 or 10x7

Once again let me start with a disclaimer, this post is not meant to make fun or discriminate but just to tell as a fact what happened.


Ok the other day I was going to conduct some training for a group of people, and so I was putting together this stack of training material. Came to around 7 pages. So well, next step was to make copies and prepare them for the training right ? So yea, I called my office boy, told him "Can you make 10 copies for me please?".

Off he went happy with the 7 sheets of papers stapled together, I suppose he took a stapler remover, removed them then started to photocopy them. And seriously, seriously, I was just expecting 70 sheets of paper to come back and I'll sort them out by myself.

Half and hour later after much toiling, he came back with the stack, neatly stapled and stacked on top of one another. And I was sincerely thinking "Wow, for once he exceeded my expectations, fabulous, I'm really surprised"

Well, not thinking too much about it, I placed the papers to one side and continued to do whatever I was doing, as the training was like 2 days away.

Lo and Behold, when it was time to give out the stacks of papers on the day of the training. You know what happened ? Yea you are right, b****y s*** 10 copies of 7 sheets stapled together nicely.


Well, I'm not trying to make fun or complain or whatsoever, but sometimes it just so funny. You know, things that we always take for granted and thought would be done nicely by default and have got used to in our lives, suddenly it comes back to surprise you and catch you at the last moment.

My life is getting more interesting. Sure to be more in 2007, ha ha.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The "queueing" industry

Always seeking for opportunities, sometimes I salute these indians. But well, who can blame them, in a land where if you do not step up and fight for yourself and earn your next meal, who will do it for you ?


The other day at Delhi (DEL), I was a New Delhi Railway station and thanks to the flight coming in late, I missed my reserved seating train from DEL to Agra (Land of the Taj Mahal). So, well, my 300INR just flew like that. So well, next was to find a train to get from DEL to Agra again. Went to the New Delhi railway station, saw the HUMONGOUS (did I spell this correctly?) queue there in the booking queue. Amidst figuring out whether this was the place where we should be buying our tickets and trying to hear an offer from an indian man who just turned up beside us offering a "package" of going by car instead.

So yea, after a while we decided to take a walk around. Then we saw this "reservations for foreign tourists" - wah not bad, I think they must know that we stupid tourists will be kanna chopped by the illegal service providers around, so they set up this counter for us. Went in to the place, nicely done up, train schedules and all, saw the train we want to take, then there was this "chair queuing system" and one caucasian woman told me, albeit rudely as I was about to sit down "Actually the queue starts from there" (point to a place about 20m away).

Ok, there's no way we were going to catch a train leaving in 20min time if we were to join the queue (err, more about the punctuality of trains later!) so we decided to leave the "foreigner booking office".

Went downstairs, saw this "unreserved seating counter", as usual was packed with lots of people trying to get a ticket. Was also in the midst of wondering, d*** have to endure like close to an hour of queueing again ! Then this man comes up, says, "ok, I'll you tickets, it's normally 65INR per person but I'll charge you INR200 for 2 persons"

I said "OK!" (INR200 is only SGD8 just by the way)

He takes our money, jumps across all the queues, goes up the counter, hands over a portion (he and the ticket counter staff have a deal going on I'm sure) and comes by in 49 seconds flat with tickets !

Amazing !


Money works. It works better in India.