[Some friends from Approva were in town from Pune, India. They had read my trip report on our company trip to the beach in Dapoli and found it hilarious. They implored me to post it up on tuesday night.]
Day 1 – A Good Start
After Shamshu (or Uncle as he is known in the office) picked me up at oh-dark-thirty, we headed to the office. There in watching everyone try and get organized, I introduced him to the expression “herding cats.” I knew I was in for a good time when I noticed dried vomit festooned on the side of the bus. Shortly after, Shamshu asked, with a slight malevolent grin, “Do you get the motion sickness?” I do, Shamshu, I do indeed, but I had prepared for such a situation by doping up appropriately.
So off we went, about 2 hours later than we were supposed to. And by off we went I mean to say, we started fighting through traffic in Pune. Both buses stopped a while later to pick up more people. (There were two buses. Hare Krishna, seen above, and The Short Bus, which will be taking a prominent role in a moment.) In the crew that we picked up at the second included Shishir, Kaustubh, and Aniruddha. After much back and forth, it was decided that the drinkers and smokers would take The Short Bus and everyone else would ride with Krishna. So off we went… again.
Queue Bollywood sound track at earsplitting decibels. After an hour of that I did make out the distinct sound of a beer being opened. Okay, I’m thinking, this is a good old fashion road trip. Kingfisher in hand I sat back and enjoyed the drive out of Pune and into the hills. Stopping at a Tata Power Generation control reservoir I got a good sense of the landscape reminded me of Southern California.
On the way back to the bus I saw something hanging from the open engine compartment. Shamshu called it lemon chili and it was, supposedly, for good luck. Keep that good luck charm in mind.
Just back from Playa Del Carmen. Went on a quick vacation for my wife’s birthday. We’ve been going to Playa on and off for five or so years. It has changed big time over the years. Playa’s gotten built up, lost a lot of its clunky charms, and become more, well, Cancun-like. That being said there are still some great things about it – notably Hotel Basico. Basico is both a hip design hotel and an unpretentious place to unwind. It has about a dozen rooms which are deliberately spartan. The real draw is the roof “pool” – consisting of a few hammocks, a few pool-side beds and two water tanks cum swimming pools. Add a bar and a great kitchen cooking up fish tacos. Top that off with a distinct lack of loud guests and you have the makings for a private penthouse experience that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Tourism is PDC’s major business and from all accounts business is good. It’s just a little unnerving to hear “Tequila shot. Lemondrop. How YOU doin’?” yelled at you while you walk down the street. Strangely, it felt like a Hong Kong evening on Nathan Road…
I’ve been back about a week from my trip to Pune. Had a great time. The people and food were wonderful. I did get a chance to go on our company “picnic,” a three day jaunt to the beach near Dapoli. Some funny adventures along the way, like a 14 hour bus ride home featuring the bus breaking down on three different occasions. Good times. All in all, I know I’ll be back soon and hopefully have more of an opportunity to explore.
I’m headed to India in a few hours, off to meet up with everyone in our Pune office. I have to say, I am really looking forward to this trip. I’ve never been to India before and there’s nothing like a two week trip to serve as a very limited crash course. One added bonus on this trip, I’m lucky enough to tag along on our company retreat. Two days on the beach in Dapoli… sounds like fun. Pictures at 11.