Sunday, November 27, 2005
Odds and Ends
The rain in Chennai has continued and created flooding in a number of parts of the city. Usually the monsoon and heavy rains are over by this time, but it's been an unusual year for weather and rain everywhere it seems. The photo on the left was taken from the window of our Ford Endeavour---one of many such scenes around town. 145 people died yesterday when two different buses tried to navigate flooded bridges and were swept away. It is hard to think of the suffering and homelessness that the year's strange weather has created. Hope 2006 is more normal.
Thanksgiving was a bit strange for us. Too late, we noticed a flyer that had come in from the Taj Coromondel advertising a turkey dinner, which Marty and Dad would have enjoyed. Although there are a couple of places that have turkey on the menu, the goat- for- lamb substitution (lamb on the menu means goat) makes me think that real turkey is probably only imported for special occasions, such as the one at the Taj. We did go out for dinner but had salmon, although I'm sure plenty of people back home ate our share of Tom and the dressings.
The week before last I traveled up north to Chandigarh and Ludhiana for dealer and consumer events related to the launch of our new product here, the Fiesta. Chandigarh is about an hour north of Delhi by plane, and is the gateway to the Himalayas---the famous British hill station of Simla is located about 3 hours' drive from Chandigarh. I didn't take pictures because I was on an official visit and thought it might be a bit tacky---but do plan to return. Chandigarh is the capital of two Northern Indian states--Punjab and Haryana. The city was commissioned after Independence and was mainly designed by a Swiss architect, Le Courbusier. It is probably the most organized city I've seen here--traffic and buildings both very regulated. Ludhiana was a lot more sprawly and congested, and is also a larger city. But Chandigarh was really impressive---despite the lineup of American fast food places, McDonald's (where you can get a Maharaja burger), KFC, Domino's, Ruby Tuesday, and Pizza hut!