Bill Fickett in India


This is my BLOG from my trip to India and Singapore. I'm an American, so I have American opinions and sensiblities. I love India, I love the people, I Love the food. When my boys are old enough I'd like to take them on holiday to India. That being said here is how I experienced India.

Tuesday 29 February 2000 and the other travel days that blur into one day.

And so it begins. After several movies and too much food and with 1241km 1.15 hrs to Singapore moving at 946kph at 11900m I begin to write. Taipei's Chang Hi Sheck (sp) airport was dark and dank. Most everything was closed (5:30am local time). The only refreshments available were from machines, which only took New Tai Dollars. The moneychangers were closed so there was little vending going on.

We were in waiting hall 8. One of 10 such halls each very much like the other. Standard chairs, 3 works of Taiwan art under glass and two very small bathrooms for the 747-400 with its well-fed and beveraged passengers. Outside the bathroom door was a sign, "man toilet". Short and to the point, much like the rest of the airport. Also outside the bathroom was a vending machine-new Tai dollars only-where one could purchase toilet tissue and feminine products.

We walked down as far as waiting hall 3. Phil said that he always thought there was only one waiting hall, but today realized that they all look alike. After walking the airport for a while we returned to out waiting hall. Phil is in the midst of a winning streak on his PalmV. He has won 71 consecutive games of cards. I'm sure he will do several hundred before returning home.

Back on the plane, more food and drink. The travel agent got us bulkhead emergency row seating. We have 4 feet in front of us. Unlike the rest of economy, we can stretch out and get up without bothering anyone. The plane is descending to land in Singapore.

The embarkation form reads in RED CAPITAL letters, "WARNING DEATH FOR DRUG TRAFFICKERS UNDER SINGAPORE LAW". There is nothing on the form about fines for gum trafficking or elevator urination (1000 SD per offense).

Phil and I plan to nap and take showers before meeting Peter for dinner. Phil says that once we arrive in Mumbai it can take over an hour to clear customs and 5 hours to drive to Pune. Plan change. Phil called Peter and GTY-Sg's computer has crashed. Flex, flex, flex. We meet Peter and his wife and a GTY volunteer (Tony) for lunch. Driving in Singapore is an adventure. Several times we almost smash into cars.

For lunch we ate at the Suntec center at a Sudanese place that is in the court of the world's largest fountain. The fountain is situated in the center of five buildings, four large and one small for maximum feung shui. Phil had Peter order the lunch. We had rice, chicken, tofu, spicy vegetables, and the house special - dancing fish. The fish was fried and set upright on the plate, an interesting presentation. We had sweet lime juice to drink. From lunch we drove to GTY-SG. I was not able to repair their computer. Either the (Welcome to India - as I'm retyping these notes the power goes off. My fan stops and the room gets stifling. Phil says it is odd for the power to go off, that is if it's not Thursday.) the CPU or the motherboard has gone bad. Peter says not to worry. Off to the airport. On the way I notice how beautiful Singapore is, peacock-like palms, flowers, CLEAN and NEW everything. We are told that there are no cars older than 10 years allowed in Singapore. Peter says he will take me to Sentosa, Singapore's beautiful vacation island, on the Public holiday.

At the airport we check into the transit hotel. Windowless rooms available for 50SD for 6 hours. Those of you who know me well can ask me more about the hotel.

Transit Hotel

After getting someone else's wakeup call and other exciting things, I meet Phil and we walk through the most beautiful airport I've ever seen. Besides being unnaturally clean (no fingerprints on any glass door, cleaning crews constantly washing and polishing everything.) it as an amazing aesthetic. Plants and artwork accent the well-designed halls and public spaces. All the shops are ultramodern; offering everything anyone could want. Phil and I check out the prices of Cubans at a shop.

Then I stop to call Kerry. It is good to hear her voice, and to know that she is well. Phil and I had an A&W rootbeer from an airport shop before boarding or 747-400 for Mumbai. As were are getting ready to board we notice that Phil is in row 59 and I'm in 37. Too late to change, so we make the rest of the flight apart. In four hours I'll be in India. Just before landing they spray the passenger area with a spray that they say the world health organization recommends. I'm not sure what their afraid I'd bring into India that they haven't already got.

Interruption for breaking news - Saturday 04 March 2000 FIRE FIRE FIRE. I'm typing again when the power goes out. I hear all this screaming and yelling. I'm thinking there is a political rally or something regarding the Shiva holiday today. After about 1 min. I go to the window, and the building across the street is in flames. People are shouting and running everywhere. I get Phil and the camera and we run downstairs to get a better look. Several shops are going up in flames. There are apartments above the shops. Finally the fire department arrives. The have no siren, just a big clanging bell like at fire trucks at Disneyland Park.

Friday 03 March 2000 1:00am-ish

The airport is totally different than Phil described. It's new, but looks like it was new about 20 years ago and no one is taking care of it. The floors are dirty and broken and many of the amenities are non-functioning. There are water stations where the bold and the untold can take the common tin cup and get a drink of non-boiled, non-filtered, non-parasite-free water. Immigration takes only three min. They have several agents open and are processing everyone in a quick fashion. Customs is another story altogether.

It starts off fine, till they ask what are in the 70-pound boxes. Phil says books, but as we walk away I remembered the CD-ROM drive that Stan had packed into on of the boxes. I check the invoice slip, and it is not listed for either box. I notice that before you leave customs they X-ray every box and bag. I know that the CD-ROM drive will show up on X-ray, so I tell Phil about the drive. We tell the official, who sends us back to have our boxes opened and inspected. That official says not to worry if there is only drive and sends on our way. The official who sent us back, now sees us trying to leave again, so he ask what we are doing. We explain, and he sends us back to the second agent. (Confused yet?) Back and forth we shuttle between agents, half say open the boxes, the other say move along. Finally the agent who sent us back the first time demands that we open the box with the drive in it. I explained that I was not sure which box had the CD-ROM drive, so they decide to X-ray the boxes so we only have to open one of them. The boxes are X-rayed. Nothing electronic shows up; the speculation starts. 1 Did Stan not send the CD-ROM drive, 2. Did Stan send the drive but the X-ray machine missed it. With the first official gone, the second said not to worry and sent us on our way. [On Saturday we would learn that the CD-ROM drive was in one of the boxes, but also were cassette tapes, and other material and gifts not on the packing invoice. Had the boxes been opened and the cassettes discovered we would have been in a great deal of trouble. Cassette tapes are heavily taxed on import, books are not. Since the tapes were not on the invoice they could have thought that we were trying to cheat them out of duty.]

Chris is there to greet us. After pushing through the throngs who want to help carry our baggage we make it to the Sumo. A Sumo is an SUV-like truck with as much comfort as you'd expect. The ride to Pune is like Mr Toad meets Cruella DeVille meets Mr. Magoo on a very wild ride. Lights, horns, cows, dogs, people, bicycles, rickshaws, mountain passes, oncoming traffic, special waves, more honking, dirt, pollution, poverty, smog, smells, burning, acrid, slums, all this in the 10 mins since we left the airport.









India is everything you'd expect, and India is everything you'd not expect. We have several near misses on our 4 hour drive. Chris said that one time it took 23 hours to get back to Pune. We stop for a potty break (I've had to go since we left plane) and a drink. Had a Thums Up, could not quite place the taste.

We arrive at the YMCA at about 6:30am. I'm so tired I cannot quite think. The room is deluxe. A/C ceiling fan bathroom - toilet, sink, shower thing. I forgot to get drinking water, so I'm dehydrating. Chris comes to get us at 11:00am. We go and change some money, then off to get our air tickets.

YMCA RoomYMCA ShowerYMCA Potty

We have to see several people to complete the transaction. Copies, staples, signatures, on and on. Pune by auto rickshaw is wild 36,000 of them plus the people, cows, pigs, dogs, dung, carts, goods carriers, trucks, scooters, buses, and ox carts make the ride to Pune seem almost mild. I read somewhere that it would be more convenient if the horns of the rickshaws were simply wired to the accelerator. Lots of near misses as we rush headlong into the oncoming traffic. But through it all everyone is in control with a kind of aloof politeness.

We stopped by GTI to drop off the books. Met the staff and had some time to visit with Anu. Then we stopped by the new GTI building. Chris hopes that it will be finished in 3 months. By looking at it you would think that it will take a year or more to complete. It is a much large facility with plenty of storage on the ground level for books and tapes. Two toilet rooms, an area Chris would like to set up as a study place for members, and a nice place of Anu's office. When it is all completed there will be three floors for GTI.

New Building InteriorChris in new building

We had lunch at George's, Jay's favorite lunch spot. We had tandori chicken, lamb with lentils, rice, and Pepsi. Then we stopped to get some pan. The panwalla was quite odd. Chris kept asking him questions in Hindi, and he kept answering in English with a very peculiar accent. Pan is wild-so many flavors and textures that you don't know where it is going.

Back to the Y for some sleep before dinner. Slept right through the alarm. Chris phoned from downstairs, and I think I answered in Chinese. Lena, Chris, Anu, GingerGarlic, Phil and I went by rickshaw to Punawalla's house. He is the owner of the building GTI is purchasing. He lives in a Muslim district at the very edge of Pune. It is quite. After wandering around the district we found his house. He owns the top three floors plus the terrace of this building. We met his wife and his mother. After removing our shoes we entered their home and sat on a huge rug the sipping lime juice and visiting. He is quite keen on having GTI purchase his property. His holy men said that he couldn't charge interest, so this is a great deal for GTI. We learned that his children were delivered by the same doctor who delivered Sammy. His son is studying to be a dentist in London. After visiting a long while we got up and the GTI folk and Phil and I sat at their table while they served us dinner. We ate and they watched. She served chicken, mutton, salads, rice, coke, chicken in sauce, fried potatoes, and for dessert ice cream and fruit. There were a lot of the same spices in the ice cream as there are in Pan. While serving, our host knocked a glass of water onto Chris. He was so apologetic. Lena gave a basket of arranged flowers to our hosts. All during dinner Mr. Punawalla kept trying to get Phil to eat more. After dinner they gave us a tour of their home. From their terrace they have pleasant views of the surrounding hillsides and open spaces.

Phil and I got into a rickshaw and returned to the YMCA. I don't think that any description could adequately describe a rickshaw ride. All senses are assaulted at once. Eyes and throat burn from the pollution and dust, the smells change from block to block. I shall try to get some photographs that do justice to the experience.

I'm still feeling fine, except the malaria pill makes me a little dizzy. To bed now. Chris comes at 9:00am to take me to GTI to install the new CD-ROM drive.

Saturday 04 March 2000

Chris picked us up and we went to GTI. Phil had some eMail to send and I need to install the CD-ROM drive. The tool kit at GTI was missing a few of the right sized tools, so I used what was available. The install went fine. Then we had an extra drive, so I installed it in the computer that is being shipped to Chennai. It took a while to get all the pieces I needed to test it all, but in the end all worked. GTI is open half day on Saturday. Chris said that half days in Saturday are common in India.

The office wiring is a challenge to understand. So many plugs and switches, I'm not sure how the staff sorts it all out. I showed Anu how to use the new drive, and promised I would send some RW disks with the team when they come in July. Phil has said that he would like to return in July for the building dedication. I'm not sure what John and Darlene will think of his plan, but it is obvious that Phil loves India.

Plug CityAnu in her office

For lunch we went to the Williams' house. It seemed to be a long way out from town. His flat is out past an army instillation and a Raj's house and temple compound. Phil finished his eMail from their home. They also have a better connection to the Internet than I get from my house. I checked my mail-nothing interesting. According to SFNB I have received both of my tax refunds. When I get home I'll do the painting and garage door.

Lena served a fruit drink as an appetizer, and then we had simosas, rice, and chicken curry. She made mint chutney and mango pickle to go with the meal. Chris and I walked down the street to a row of shops to see if he could get his watchband fixed. The watch shop was closed. We poked in at the barbershop; hair cuts with massage for only 30RS. ($.70), Chris says it is the shop he uses. After lunch we sat around talking. Lena is a wonderful host. I gave her the drink mix and chocolate. I hope she enjoys them.

We went back to the YMCA to rest a little before the GTI members' meeting. As I'm typing the power/fire episode happens. The streets are so crowded with spectators that the police shut down all streets within a 12 block radius to wheeled traffic.

Fire View

As we are starting the GTI meeting, we have no power, which means no lights and no fans. Many people are having a difficult time arriving. Phil does a great job, and has a profitable time of Q&A at the end. While he is answering questions, simosas and chips are being distributed. I can see he is distracted but he does well. It was nice seeing that so many people are being ministered to by GTI, and to know that I am in a small way part of it through GTY-US. People have the same questions here as at Grace; they have the same basic needs, and the same basic problems.

Phil says he is too tired to go to dinner, so Anu, Alicyn, Chris, Lena, and I go to the Sizzler (Not US kind. Everything they serve sizzles.). I ordered steak Kobe style. I'm still not sure what Kobe style is, but it was a fine meal. We stopped at the panwalla outside of the cinema for pan. He dragged all of the containers out and put on a pan making show for us. Fingers dipping, shakers pouring, dredging, all to yield an inferior pan. Chris and I both agreed that the panwalla outside if George's is much better. Back to the YMCA to get ready for Sunday and all it will bring.

Sunday 5 March 2000

I cannot sleep very well. I keep waking up at odd times. I put on my least patterned shirt, and we head out to DCC (Disciples Community Church). The ride through town was wild as usual. We got to pass the burned out shop across the street. The paper had an article about the fire. It was noted that no one was hurt, and that the cause was most likely a fault in the electrical wiring. Chris noted that the certified public accountant who was above the fire shop is probably devastated. Whatever papers survived the fire below was most likely destroyed by the water that saved the building. India law requires that books of account be kept in tangible ledgers; computer forms are not allowed as official records.

DCC is situated near a main market in the middle of a tightly packed housing area. The church is in a building that formerly housed a small medical clinic. The door of the church looks over a small court area that has the local pump well. There were several goats helping themselves of the water and whatever effluent was present. Since we were early for church, Chris took Phil and I through the housing area and on to the market. The hosing area was densely packed. People were up and doing their morning things. Some washing their teeth, others showering, others still do various toilet relater activities. All this in the view of God and His servants walking to the market. The sensibilities and general mores are different.

The market would have caused the L.A. County Health Inspector to go briefly apoplectic, then have a coronary, the finally burst into flames. The standard health inspector's phrases like: "vermin infestation", "harboring vermin", "not preventing the entrance of vermin", and "gross contamination" do not even begin to describe the market. The market is divided into several sections. All like items are mostly together. Other than the swarms of flies and goats wandering through the vegetable area it is much like L.A. Grand Central Market. Loud overwhelming with scents and sights. Piles of fruits and vegetables arranged to catch the eye. The meat markets are another thing. Animals in various parts and states of dead are hanging about on seldom-cleaned hooks. Fluids drip everywhere. Pools of blood. Flies everywhere and ravens waiting to get whatever drops. One shop is selling nothing but brains. I should mention that while Chris and I are wearing slacks and shirts, Phil is navigating all this in a wool suit and tie. He is attracting more than his share of attention.

Shivagi Market

After wandering the market for a while, we return to DCC and wait for the service to begin. After singing in English and Hindi it is time for Phil to preach. He delivers a message on Korah's rebellion, several people think that Chris has put him up to it. The service is a little more animated than Grace Community Church, but still worshipful. The church is packed. I wish that Victor could be here to see this over crowded room with no sprinklers, no recorded yards, no lighted exits (one of the exits it locked to prevent the projector screen from moving), non-opening bars on windows, doors that open inward, and no occupancy separation and no concern if the is an "A" occupancy or anything else. Just a church meeting; worshipping the true God. After the service lunch is served. Most everyone stays to eat together. There is no charge, but you are asked to donate if you are able. People here do not appear the same health sensibilities as Americans. The music leader (a pediatrician) can in with sunglasses on because he has conjunctivitis (pink eye). This is a highly contagious disease, and here he is not only leading music, but also shaking hands. I've noticed someothers who are quite ill, yet here they are.


After lunch I go with Chris by scooter to GTI, Phil goes by auto rickshaw. I send some eMail, and do a little reading. The staff trails in and out while we are there.

Phil at GTI

Chris comes back to the Y with us so he can get some rest before dinner. Phil naps in his room, Chris in mine. I write letters while Chris sleeps. When Chris wakes up we have a good discussion on the state of the Church in India. I also make a proposal to honor Anu and Sojas with a gift from Campbell. Off to dinner at Mirchi Kola. An avaunt guarde restaurant above the crystal ball disco. Anu, Alacyn, Lena, Chris, Phil and I have way too much food. It is all wonderful. Tandori, mixed kabobs, mixed roti, chicken korma (not good), lamb curry, rice, pineapple juice, and for dessert: candies and pan. It was much different than the other pan I've had-somewhat dry, but tasty. Lena keeps talking about it after dinner. We walk down Main Street. There is a vendor selling camel rides to children. Phil buys a towel (he keeps calling it his lungie) for our trip. The shop he gets it from is very western, Bombay Store. It is a large plush towel costing $6.00. When Phil tells Chris "only $6.00" Chris rolls his eyes. Back to the Y to get ready for an early morning breakfast at the Bible Center.

Monday 06 March 2000

We get up early since breakfast is at 7:30. The ride to the Bible Center is cold. The wind is piercing through my shirt. The rickshaw driver has a thick sweater and cap more suited for a less hot place. The Bible Center is located at the end of a street that is lined with plush homes and apartments. The Center is not plush, though it is well treed and neatly maintained. A former street boy, Jay, is sitting on the ground barefoot and cross-legged making chipatti. The whole area where the food is prepared is dirt. An open fire provides the heat for cooking. Karen has a hard time keeping her staff doing the jobs. Before we can eat the table needs to be set, so Jay takes the more black rag, and begins to smear the dirt around in the table. He then gets some cloths to cover the table. Of all the cloths we could have selected he chose bed covers (he knew, but he wanted to annoy Karen), after several wrong selections, Karen finally sends him away and gets the tablecloths out and on the table herself. Breakfast is eggs, chipatti, pickle, tea, and dahl.

Phil and the cooks

Chris delays the start of the meeting, because the staff from Hyderabad has not yet arrived. When the do arrive, we learn that on of the staff will not be at the meeting. He and another staff member were delivering tapes on a scooter, when a bus smashed onto them. It broke his leg and he is in hospital awaiting surgery. We have the staff training time in a small room along an outside corridor halfway between the diningroom and the bathroom (which is the first non-western bathroom I get to use. Explain to me again how to use a lotta), directly across from the cooking area.

The room has peeling paint, a blackboard that is unusable, hard chairs, harsh lights, and thankfully, plenty of ceiling fans. Chris starts out the session with singing. We are all given time to introduce ourselves - names only.

Customer Service Meeting

A visiting pastor shares with us. We are still waiting for the group from Hyderabad, so we take an extended tea break. Anu takes me over to the barracks and I get to see the room where Jay Flowers stayed. Anu says the area that Jay called the cesspool has been mowed and looks much better, also the room has been given a fresh coat of paint. Jay would not recognize it. I wander around the Center. Behind it is a cemetery and an auto-rickshaw repair center. Two huge bogenvalia flank the door to the main house. Tamarind and mango trees grow all over the Center. Enough walking, it's time to teach about customer service and excellence. Chris wants to be sure that everyone has a clear understanding of what's being taught, so he has Maria translate into Hindi. It's the first time I've been translate, it takes a while before I can keep my train of thought going while waiting for the translation to finish. After I finish, we take some time to review and clarify the main points. I'm them asked for advice how to handle several specific problems. As I'm returning to my seat, Phil tells me he has had the most surreal experience sitting in this dilapidated room in India having me talk about customer service and excellence. Lunch is standard Bible Center food. After lunch Phil teaches, then we take a long extended tea break. Phil and Chris go to GTI so Phil can do his eMail. I get a chance to visit with all the staff. Later some will go into Pune to see the city; others will wait at the Center till dinner. When Chris and Phil get back to the Center it is time for the GTI Board Meeting. Phil and I are invited to the meeting. Several times we are asked our opinions regarding Board issues. The meeting runs smoothly, but long. Starts at 6:00pm ends at 9:30pm. Everyone is kept waiting for dinner till we are done. Dinner is biryoni, bhindi, roti, gobi ahlo and tea. It is all wonderful. Karen knows how to cook well. After dinner, we go back to the Y to get some rest for the next day.


Tuesday 07 March 2000

Another early morning rickshaw ride to the Bible Center. Not as cold as yesterday, but cooler than I've been outside of A/C. Karen must practically beat breakfast out of her workers. She tells us that they have been getting worse recently. In fact last night one of the workers tried to sabotage her biryoni. She just happened to walk by when she noticed that he was about to add some powder to it. She asked what it was and he lied, he said that it was some spice that she wanted him to add. It turned out that he had taken some chilies that she had thrown into the garbage (they had gone bad) and ground them into powder. Had he added it, not only would the biryoni have tasted bad, but we all most likely would be sick. Once breakfast is served it is good, though the chi could have been hotter. Chris hurries breakfast along because he wants to start the sessions on time. Just before the session is to start Lena and her friend come to get me to go shopping. Allison was to come with us, but she has been throwing up. I made a mental list of what I wanted to get, and for whom. By autorickshaw we travel to Main Street, to the shop of Mrs. Poonawalla (I've discovered that this is the correct spelling). She sells bangles and other inexpensive jewelry. She is delighted to see us. She asked again if we enjoyed her dinner. After about four minutes the shopping can begin. She brings out all sorts of trinkets, I decide on several bracelets, one of which I've chosen for Natalie (my sister). Her prices are reasonable. She takes out some woven tablecloths, but I'm not looking for linens. As an extra thank you she gives me one woven napkin. After a few minutes of good-byes we are off to old Pune. The streets of old Pune are narrow and even more crowded than Pune. Many of the older women have the nine-meter saris that wind about their legs. Lena points out the red-light district where she has a ministry to the women who work there. She has started a small enterprise that makes greeting cards and handmade paper. It is her hope that the women will see that if they learn this new skill they can quit, and come out to be better in society. All of this is with the hope that they will come to Christ. We had several near misses as we went about on foot. We went to many shops that to see what kinds and prices of traditional Indian clothing were available. Embroidered silk was the most expensive (US$200.00), with plain cotton the least expensive. After wondering in and out of several shops I found a Punjabi for Campbell. I liked the first one the shopkeeper showed me, but I wanted to be sure that there was not one that I would like better. He sent his peon to his other store to get the ones from that shop. After ten minutes he returned, and I left with the one I saw first. I selected a Punjab with chemise for Kerry from a shop with excellent prices. Hers is hand reverse appliqu�d in two contrasting colors-Lena thought that it was the nicest one in the shop. I found a nice traditional outfit for myself, so don't be surprised if you see the Ficketts at the Valencia mall all decked out in India apparel for shopping and photographs. From old Pune back to Main Street to a shop that Lena says I will be able to find a few small items. This shop not only has small items, but he also has a large selection of hand embroidered cushion covers and rugs. The prices are very good (about US$6.00, I've seen inferior work selling in the US for more that US$65.00), but I'm embarrassed to purchase more than a few. I hope I can go back and get some more later. Back to the Bible Center for Lunch, and a time of sharing, After making sure that everyone's computer is working, they are all packed up and sent with the staff of each office. Phil goes back to GTY, and as usual is too tired to go to dinner, so he will return to the YMCA when he is done at GYI. We both need a little laundry done, so we pack up a small bundle and hope that we can get it done before we go to Hyderabad. Chris, Lena and I go to Jay's favorite restaurant Sarengi - the tent place. We had rice, chicken tika, dahl, rita with pineapple, thums up, two kinds of roti and mutton curry. It was good, but not the best I've had in India. During diner as Chris is telling stories about his adventures in the USA, he casually mentions that he knows Howard Ahmanson. It seems that there is no one who does not know Chris. After dinner we went to the panwalla one block away. He made the best pan I've had. Sweet, tender leaves, and instead of one large leaf, he used two small leaves and hands them both to you at one time. Nice refreshing aftertaste. As we walked down the street minding our own business, we see this drunk man relieving himself rainbird sprinkler style as he walks down the street. We wait till he puts his lungie down before we pass him. Back to the Y to rest for the travel day on Wednesday.

Wednesday 08 March 2000

We sleep in then pack up to get ready to go to Hyderabad. Phil brought only his large Samsonite wheeled luggage, so he must take everything with him. I packed a small duffel, so I will only take what I need. We leave our luggage at the Y, Chris will arrange to get it to GTI. At GTI Phil does eMail and I work with Anu to see how they use their current computer system. For whatever reason they are required to keep their books in several different manners. These accountancy rules force them to physically book into no less than four ledgers each money transaction. I think that we can help them meet the accounting rules, while greatly simplifying their work. I explain a brief vision of the new system to Anu; she seems excited by the proposal. I hope that we can get them the new system in about 6-10 months. I'm sure that once it is in place, they may be able to reallocate their staff resources. While I'm working with Anu, the luggage and our clean laundry arrives. Chris said that there was some problem with the washing machine, so not everything is quite dry. It's fine for me, the things that were dry were what I need to take to Hyderabad. It's tome for lunch, so off in an autorickshaw to Eddie's Kitchen. Everyone should have Chinese food in India, where else could you get Indian style Chinese food. Chinese food with an India touch is hard to explain, but if you know Chinese food and you know Indian food, you'd know that this food is neither, but is a unique blend of both. We had smoked beef, Szechwan chicken noodles, chicken spring rolls, fried rice, and Coke. Back to GTI. Anu shows us the direct mail she just got from the USA mailing service. They have placed a label over the image on the front of the envelope, plus it is late. The series advertised on the insert is more than half over by the time Anu received the mailing. While waiting to leave I write a letter to our Belgian restaurant telling them about the total lack of Belgian food in India. While I'm thinking about lack. In India they divide their numbers differntly. The number one hundred thousand would be written: 1,00,000. It would be called, "one lahk" pronounced "lack". So if Pune is a city of 13 million they would say that it is a city of 130 lahk. There is also something called a crore, but I have not figured it out yet. Chris has some errands to run. sfgmn



Thursday Hyderabad

Friday Chennai Saturday pune airport taxi to Y - more forms again Cinema Shopping Lunch @ williams Dinner @ Anu Henna Profit

Sunday DCC Lunch @ DCC Market by scooter to GTI Cultural center veg meal dancing apitizers waiting in park lot caal to phil pot making portrait making-Allison moved to front of line magician discovery that there was mor land and food Chris knows the owner comes to greet us phil no go/go tomtom ride

Monday aiiport day gti email go byes dirt road to pune sumo death 11 accedents bike v army truck taj hotel towels in bathroom dirt lungie shopping lunch in bombay vegy snack at Mdlds slums towers of scilence gateway to india postcard venders hangin gardens bedies world's largest pan hot airport mosquitos inefficient checkin 12 people checked us world's most boring airport beaches smells views

Tuesday Arrive SG 8:30am fast through customs, bags almost beat us Phil leaves his CASH and Passport on a luggage cart, not discovered till we go to change money Peter, Tony and Louis meet us Phil to hotel c/ Louis and Tony Bill to Peters house Small shower small nap Meet Phil et all for Lunch at Tech School. Squid rice chicken spilled drink on pants Phil and bill to hotel to sleep, Bill in Tony's room. Room not service yet, waited 30 min in lobby 5:30 pm up and go for dinner Go to GTY Phil teaching Romans. 15 people show up in trickle Phil to Hotel Bill to Peters Sleep

Wednesday Shower questions Meet Phil et al at Toast Restaurant Runny eggs good toast and tea Parked illegally Phil to wet market Bill to GTY Analyze systems ank questions Phil arrives eMails, meets Alfred for Lunch and leave for USA Lunch at SG National University stairs, views, hot, non-a/c dining rice fish veggies ginger tea back to GTY Began work on temp system for peter Back to peter's house, Peter rebecka and Paul to chicken rice place chicken rice bones, sg salad pinapple, cucumbers, fried tofu in peanut sauce, green veg coke to Bible study at new large block flat pastor from james 4 no cushions, tile floor children run amok music teaching dessert rice balls, tapioca c/ coconut, 7 layer jelly thing home sleep

Thursday Public holiday Breakfast @ home eggs, corn flakes, euro-milk Malyasia casway, tall towers of defense Sentosa Cable car queues Lunch - sandwich peach tea History of SG beautiful multicolored bugengellia Magnum c/ Merlion pin Hot walk to scented garden plumerias gardenias etc view of beaches and sea and merlion carrilon Monorail to underwater world Hot travellator under glass a/c bus to orchid gardens, poor signage orchid gardens, hot nice colorful Chochoc and soda walk to dinner Dinner - rice, fried tofu, sg veg, lemon chicken, tofu and fruit ice dessert walk to fountain show lasers water (belaggio but smaller - much smaller) bus to cable car car to home

Friday Breakfast in car - spring roll, bean ball, fried tofu/cheese thing. Drop reb and paul at reb's moms to gty Call Kerry Work on system Lunch in office, chicken and rice Work on system To high tech store for comp case WOW + pirateware coffee in a bag c/ straw finish at gty pick up reb, have dinner @ her moms Chick pork, vegs, fish balls, cherry soda 14th floor nice view 20yr old bld in town Back to house call Kerry sleep