Someone commented on my prior post regarding the Pig Po, which made me realize I hadn't shared another disturbing, but mostly funny story about India.

Some time back, Sally developed a terrible rash on her hand. The rash started innocently enough, a few bumps between her fingers, but soon spread across her palm. Before long, her entire hand felt like a basketball & was bright red. Needless to say, at this point - we paid our first visit to an Indian doctor.

Taking advice from our friends over at, we visited a doctor in Hauz Khas. His office was inside his sprawling home, in a quiet upscale residential community. Upon entering his home, we were greeted with an 8 foot high tiger pelt, complete with taxidermied head on the wall. Immediately, we knew were were in for a fun visit!

The doctor was GREAT! He was extremely helpful, understanding & quickly diagnosed the hand rash as a food allergy of some sort. He gave us a prescription recommendation for us & we talked for a bit about his children - both of whom are now in US. Thinking we were done with our visit, we started to pack up, when he asked us a question that nearly put us into a fit of giggles.

When was the last time you de-wormed yourselves?

We took the pills, and seem to be worm free. I've asked around and it seems a common thing for children to take these pills to keep them free of worms. I can only assume we were encouraged to take them as we would be particularly susceptible to food borne parasites given our recent introduction to India. From what I can tell, we are now worm free & will probably take another dose in 6 months time.

Beef in Delhi

Ok, so I hate to admit this, but for the last 2 weeks I have been eating an unidentified meat. The label lists it as Ground Lm Tender Lion (yes, lion - not loin). However, when cooked it tastes, looks and smells exactly like beef.

I am not an idiot, I do realize how stupid I sound saying I've been eating an unidentifiable meat. And that just sums up living in India as an expat. What you thought were your boundaries are simply no longer your boundaries. Yes, 11 months on and I am now comfortable eating random ground meat product.

Another example of my ever shifting boundaries involves a shop called the Pig Po. This shop is a pork butcher, and as far as I know there are two locations. One, is right at the end of my street while the other is in Jor Bagh.

Some time back, Gurgaon Connection - an expat group in Gurgaon - had a chain of mails about where one could procure good pork. Several members chimed in that the PigPo in Jor Bagh was a great option. I quickly chimed in that the Shanti Niketan location was significantly closer to Gurgaon and could save the drive further into Delhi for everyone involved.

Soon, someone took it upon themselves to post that they would never eat pork from the Shanti Niketan location as they had seen a cockroach in the shop case once. Now, if this message had reached me a year back and if the Pig Po had instead the Whole Foods in River North (Chicago), I would have been appalled and considered switching to another yuppie super market.

However, after a year in India - my response was simply - "Oh well, get over it!" What store/restaurant doesn't have a cockroach, mouse, critter lurking around the corner. Nature didn't intend meat to be kept in a freezer for weeks on end in India's heat. Apparently, I was not alone in my get over yourself response - several other expats chimed in with similar stories of rodent spotting in the most Hygienic of shops & restaurants in Gurgaon (Ambi mall, etc) - all indicated they continue to eat out.

On my way home that night, Sally & I discussed dinner. I stopped & bought some fresh pork. Despite what the alarmist in Gurgaon had to say - it tasted great. But definitely not as great as my mystery meat.

It's Electric!

I am sorry for the deluge of photos today, I finally had a chance to go
through my phone & pick out a few of the winners. This is another of my

At the end of our block is an ICICI bank atm. I happened to notice the other day that there was a large poster behind the ATM with instructions on how to treat an Electric Shock.

After reading the poster, I began to wonder. Have people who've overdrawn their accounts been shocked by the ATM? Is the room full of live wires just waiting for someone to grab them. Should I use rubber gloves when entering my
pin code.

Truthfully, I probably should. Although, not for fear of electric shock!

If I'm indeed shocked, should I expect a man to mount me from behind and then proceed to pull my arms over my head? And if after all this, I am still having problems - will I be driven to the White House?

With such a frightening poster at ICICI, I've decided to start using the Citibank ATM, it seems a safer option. Plus, it has better A/C - a win/win.

When clean just won't do...

What Not To Do:

If you encounter an office fire, I highly recommend you not follow the directions posted in DLF Corporate Park (pay attention to the third item):

Best Car Ever!

Amigo Was Robbed!

I struggle to understand how Times of India can release a book of restaurant reviews & seriously label TGI Fridays as the best Tex-Mex restaurant in Delhi. Did the reviewer get a personal check from TGIF for this honor? Amigo GKII, you were robbed.

Editors Note to Amigo: Don't get too excited, I'm not saying you cook mexican food like Rick Bayless, but you certainly perform better than anyone else I've tried in Delhi (Sancho's & TGIF included). Oh, and please change your Tortilla Soup recipie stat - here's a better one.

As if the inclusion of TGIF wasn't a big enough insult to Dilliwalas (Delhi Residents for my non-desi audience), the book seems to have named any restaurant at a five star hotel in India as the best in every serious category. I've eaten at all of these (I know, die yuppie scum), and I assure you the best Italian in Delhi is not the characterless Italian restaurant at the Hyatt. If you want to know my recommendation - just ask.

Shame on you Times of India. Shame on you for sloppily naming restaurants to your list & then asking consumers to shell out money to read it. Shame on you for finding another way to slap your name onto a poor product.

I made the mistake of buying your book last year - don't expect my money this time round.

I now know why Indians are better at math than Americans

Ok, no shocker here. Generally speaking, Indians test better than Americans in Math.

In America, we are told it is because of the rote math lessons that the educational system favors here in India. This sounds convincing enough, and manages to make the American Education system sound progressive. Rote methods are inferior, we are told. So, if India favors rote methods - and America favors highly engaging teaching lessons, we can explain our poor math scores away as a necessary evil of our superior educational system, right?

Well, after my experience last week, I'm convinced, that this "rote" system produces a love of math, or at least - produces curiosity about it. This is something that is clearly lacking in the states, despite our "progressive" teaching style. Let me explain.

I've been studying for the GMAT. Sally has to pass a language test for INSEAD next year, and so I decided to join her and study for the GMAT. The scores are good for 5 years after all - so why not?

Last week, I had a business trip which brought me to Chennai. Since I knew this would provide a few hours in the plane & a slow evening in a hotel, I brought my study materials along. I've been using the Kaplan 800 Review book, and pulled it out in the Chennai airport on my way back to Delhi.

The gentleman sitting next to me couldn't help but stare over my shoulder at the materials as I . I found this a little odd, but thought nothing of it, until he asked to see the book. Mind you, this man was well beyond 50, and here he was reviewing my test prep materials & asking me where I purchased them.

About an hour later, I realized the man across the aisle was following along in my book. Sure enough, after I solved a particularly tough problem, he asked to borrow my book so he could try the question himself. I obliged, and for 10 minutes, the man scribbled notes and slowly solved the data sufficiency problem.

Shortly after touching down in Delhi, yet another Airline passenger, asked to review my book. He took it, and spent 5 minutes carefully scanning the pages of the book.

Now at this point, I was truly baffled. I can think of no circumstance in the states, short of a GMAT prep course, where I could find so many people interested in Math. Am I the only one who has experienced such a strange reaction?

United Customer Care Gets It Wrong. No one is surprised.

From time to time I deviate from the general theme of the blog to vent. This is one of those times. It seems that every chance I have to interact with a US Airline leaves me with a headache & an hour of time wasted on the phone.

Today, Sally and I went to book tickets from Chicago to Savannah in June. We are spending two weeks stateside to visit the family, and decided that it was more fun to visit them at the beach!

After learning that it would cost me 25 dollars per ticket to book free tickets on miles, we decided that booking online was a better idea. So we selected our flights, Sally on the desktop from her account & I on the laptop from mine. We coordinated to select our seats, filled out the credit card details & hit purchase.

Surprise! Sally's went through, and mine didn't. I grabbed the phone and called customer service. It seems Sally booked the last available seat on the plane for mileage purposes. You know, the airline needed to save room for revenue generating passengers (From the look of the seatmap, there is still PLENTY of room).

After many calls & pleading we were left with three options. Leave at 6:30 am the morning after a wedding we are attending in Chicago (yeah - not an option), pay almost 400 bucks to buy a seat on the "full" flight, or leave the next day. So, I rather begrudgingly asked for Sally's flight to be changed to the next day & the man to book me on it. After more than an hour, I thought I was finished.... But NO! It would STILL cost 25 bucks for him to book my ticket. Yes, he was unable to wave the booking fee that sent me on this long stupid path in the first place... The rest I'm willing to forgive, but seriously, you can't enable your staff to waive the booking fee?

Back From The Dead

Well, I've fallen off the map for a while, sorry about that. It has been extremely busy for me for the last 2-3 months. But thankfully, I've been compiling blog post ideas and am ready to hit the ground running. So, stay tuned over the next few weeks & I'll try to keep my end of the bargin up!

More Yuni-Net Ridiculousness:
I've previously mentioned Yuni-Net, a yahoo group of expats & internationally minded people living in Delhi. It is a resource for finding service providers, getting restaurant recommendations, finding drivers & houshold help, or simply meeting people.

Most posts are very normal, but from time to time, there are some crazy posts that make you laugh. Here are a few of those posts.

Subject: Help! Geckos are eating my airconditner!
Dear Yuni Net -- does anyone know of a gecko repellent? I watch helplessly as our geckos go into the air conditioner and throw out bits of foam and wire and they have also,unbelievable as it sounds, eaten though 2cm diameter electric cable. At first I thought it was mice, but our AC guys have confirmed it is geckos and if you bash on the AC when they are doing it ( they are very noisy), they come running out. I dont want to kill them but would just like to keep them away from the split unit, as their "gnawing" keeps shorting the electrics. The pest control people say they have no anti-gecko agent.

Has anyone else faced this problem?

Subject: :-) Yuni-Net -- looking for a female cocker !
hi... i want to get my cockerspaniel mated, anyone looking for a handome male to mate their bitch with?

Subject: :-) Yuni-Net -- PANAMA HATS IN INDIA?
I realize this is a far-fetched possibility, but I thought I'd try anyway. Does anyone know where I can purchase men's Panama hats in India?

Subject: :-) Yuni-Net -- Want Hair Extensions?
I'm part of a team for a new human hair extensions company that is
launching in India and will begin my training next week, which means I need models to show my work on.

I am looking for 2 people who would be good candidates for bonded
extension, which, if taken care of properly, can last up to 6 months.
Being a model for this product, you will be offered an awesome deal
on the price of hair and installation cost.

Models will be needed for a full day next week. The exact day is