Archive for September, 2007

Japan day 2

Today we visited a shrine and a technology museum. Cool times indeed. I’ll spare you the words, this post is entirely in pictures. If you only see a few pictures (there should be 18) be sure to refresh your browser, I’m reusing the same URL as yesterday.

Japan in pictures

3 comments September 28th, 2007

We’re in Japan!

I started writing this big ol’ lengthy post talking about our travels here and just decided to throw it all away. Who wants to hear a boring story about traveling to Tokyo? Instead I’ll share with everyone some of our first impressions before I give the link to pictures.

This country is efficient and things work as planned. It’s pretty amazing.

People everywhere seem interested in helping out the tourists even if they’re not making a buck off of you. The concierge here at our hotel, the Sheraton Miyako, was absolutely amazing and seemed genuinely interested in helping us. She had maps of almost everything and printed out color maps of the things she didn’t have. Thanks to Ben Hartwell (a friend from IronPort) we knew the things we wanted to see but thanks to our concierge we could actually get there!

There is the latest and greatest technology everywhere. Unlike every other country I’ve ever been to it seems that everyone is constantly upgrading everything. Our taxi cab had not only some advanced vehicle monitoring system installed but it also had an automatic door opener (this is what you’re imagining, a piston that pushes open the door) and a fancy GPS. The trains have fancy LCD TVs that cycle through all sorts of screens telling you where you are, where you’ll be next, which door is going to open, which trains you can connect to, etc. It was really cool and incredibly helpful.

The internet is the fastest I’ve ever used. Ever. Period. Latency to the US is a mere 100ms. Bangalore offers 340ms (the lower the number the better). But the throughput is absolutely amazing. I’m here in a hotel getting over 15Mb/s.

The sushi tastes just like good sushi in the US. The ginger seems to taste a little bit better and the wasabi, well I can’t tell the difference. We had lunch at some little hole in the wall-type place outside of Tokyo. I don’t know what this type of food would be called. It was basically breaded pork cutlet, but it wasn’t tempura. It was yummy. Dinner we ate at a tiny little sushi restaurant. We sat at the bar and communicated with the sushi chef via a coffee cup that had pictures of fish on it and a picture-menu he had with 3 pictures in it. It was good, but no better than anything I’ve had in the US. The beer was Asahi and it reminded me of Kingfisher beer from India. Ask me what I think of Kingfisher sometime.

That was our day. On to the pictures. As is becoming the norm I’ve written a bit about each picture in the caption.

Pictures from our first full day in Japan

4 comments September 27th, 2007

Our First Indian Vacation

Fishing boats on the beach This past weekend we ventured out of Bangalore for the first time. A great thanks needs to go out to Prachee and Charles for planning this trip. Without them we never would have experienced as much as we did this past trip. These experienced travelers got us out of the hotel to experience things we would have never seen had we ventured on our own. Thank you.

Rather than write up a big ol’ post for you guys I’ve put captions into each of 35 pictures that I decided to upload. The pictures will give you a pretty good feel for what happened. The big picture is simply that we travelled from Bangalore to Pondicherry where we stayed for Friday and Saturday nights at the hotel “Le Dupleix”. On Sunday morning we ventured north to Mahabalipuram where we stayed at the “Ideal Beach Resort” for one night. Pondicherry is a beach town but the beach is really large rocks and you can’t swim. In Mahabalipuram they have sand beaches and we were able to swim in the warm ocean waters. All in all we had a fantastic trip where my favorite part was probably the driving in between the major cities and enjoying the pretty countryside.

Pictures from our Tamil Nadu vacation

2 comments September 4th, 2007

A South Indian Hindu Wedding

Dude carrying a bucket of lunch
Last week I had the opportunity to go to a South Indian Hindu Wedding. This was the first Indian wedding I’d ever been to and it was definitely pretty cool. Apparently this wedding wasn’t nearly as big as they can get but I’d say there were enough people present for a good time. We missed the actual formal ceremony but were there for the immediately-after part. So the bride and groom were officially married but they hadn’t left the actual ceremony area yet as they were being greeted by all of the guests, including us, still. After this we ate lunch, with our hands, off of banana leaves. The food was pretty darn good and the experience was of course great. Pictures from the wedding.

1 comment September 4th, 2007


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