Well since getting back from vacation it has been crazy busy.  Eric just got back from Australia and although it was a really busy week did get to stay over an extra night to enjoy Sydney.  He spend the day on Saturday walking around an area called The Rocks.  He got to hang out in a very fun Irish Pub with lots of good music and enjoy weather that was a little cooler than Shanghai.  Someone asked me if I was sad that he stayed and I looked at them and said -- Sydney or Shanghai -- not a hard choice.....ha ha....However the other reason for the extended stay was because I was leaving to go to India for the first time.

I left for Mumbai (Bombay) on last Saturday and was there until very late Wednesday night.  The trip was an incredible experience.  I got to spend about 3.5 hours driving around central Mumbai to see some of the key sights.  I took some pictures and added text so you could know what they are, but I also tried to take a lot of video.  It was kind of over the top - but you have to see it to believe it.  Probably the thing that was so hard to see was the level of poverty.  It seemed like no matter where we went there were people living in tents, or under cardboard, there were beggars everywhere we went.  The driver actually would not let me out of the car by myself because I would have so many people it was a little over whelming.  I also did not go to any bazaars - mostly because I couldn't handle how many people were there and the lack of space to barter over items that were not necessary.  As you drive around the cities it seems like there is construction everywhere -- but the crazy part is that it doesn't look like any of it is completed and it has been under construction for years.  It is dirty or moldy or has garbage everywhere around it.  I only saw about 10 cows in Mumbai -- but when I went to Pune I saw a lot of cows and we did have to avoid them in the streets.

After touring Mumbai - I ended up going to a spa in the hotel for an Indian Ayurveda Massage - it was pretty cool.  They started the massage off with doing a hindu chant and then they end the massage by continuously pouring this warm oil over my forehead.  It was awesome but I literally had to wash my hair 5 times to get it all out.....I then went to dinner in the hotel - it was fabulous!  I had good food while I was in India but I only ate in higher end restaurants (not a surprise for any one who knows me)  and ate no uncooked food of any type.  I also brushed my teeth with bottled water even though they said we didn't have to....after driving around I couldn't believe it.

On Monday morning I left for Pune which was about a 4 hour drive.  We left at 6:30 a.m. to try and get ahead of the traffic.  We had to drive through a large part of Mumbai and I just want you to know that it was so depressing that I almost started crying.  It was the morning and everyone was getting ready to go about their day but the things that I saw while driving (like a field full of people all with their pants around their ankles doing their morning business right next to each other -- absolutely no privacy) -- were really overwhelming.  It really teaches you about different cultures because they really view this as acceptable in this part of the world.  People explained it to me while I was here, but from my history and experience it was hard to accept and even harder to understand.  The drive over to Pune was across a mountain range and it was breathtaking -- the views were really beautiful.  The driving was a little crazy but after living in China I decided it wasn't that bad.

Pune was actually nicer than Mumbai.  They have a significant number of IT Parks with lots of corporations having their IT functions based out of there.  The people of India are very nice and very helpful.  It was great to be in a country that understood english.  The sari's that the women wore here were incredibly beautiful.  So colorful and amazing -- one of the secretaries told me next time I come they will help me buy one and then show me how to wear it....I think that could be pretty cool -- but honestly I don't know how they get them to stay up -- because it is just a long, long piece of fabric....

Hope you enjoy the post.....we leave for Europe on Friday and are going to be spending time in London, Geneva and Budapest (which we are going for a long weekend to celebrate our upcoming anniversary).  We will add another post after all of that, but hope you are all doing well -- we think of home often and really miss the US on most days, but know this will be a great experience once it is over :).....
5/23/2012 04:28:26 pm

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it..I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

5/23/2012 05:52:43 pm

You certainly know how to make your blog more than just a rant about an issue. Youve made it possible for people to connect. Good for you, because not that many people know what theyre doing.


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