I’m a little late with this entry. I’m actually back no in Singapore, and will be flyign off to Sydney tomorrow, but thought that I shoudl upload an entry to close the entry on Ahmedabad. I spent just two nights in Ahmedabad, and flew back to Singapore on Thursday morning. I had to fly to Mumbai first, and transit from there to Singapore, as there were no direct flights from Amedabad back to Singapore on Thursday. On the whole, I was fairly pleased with my trip there, as I had achieved what I wanted to do.
But for the more important thing….. Ahmedabad is a place which you will find very interesting. For starters, did you know that Ahmedabad as a city does not condone liquor? It is a legal offense to bring any liquor into Ahmedabad! There is not a single drop of booze in this city. This also translates to an equally low crime environment. I was told that it is very safe on the streets in Ahmedabad, even during the night.
The India office is very interesting. Firstly, it is not in a CBD location, nor is it in a high rise building. It is in fact, a Bungalow, and it nests right behind a small children’s zoo! The road leading to the bungalow, is small and dusty.
This is the bungalow the office is in.
The interesting thing about having the office right behind the zoo, is that there are alot of wild animals that come a knocking (uumm… or flying to the office). In just a 5 to 10 minute walk around the office premises, I saw babblers, 2 Oriental Magpie Robins, 4 Peacocks, countless squirrels, fruit bats, etc!
I think this is a babbler.
Many squirrels like this one.
The ubiquitous Oriental Magpie Robin! So rare in Singapore, but all over the place here.
Then, of course, the many peacocks that make the roof their homes.
During the afternoon, Saikat M, a project manager in the office, kindly brought me to the children’s zoo to take alook at the wild life there. I thought… “Might as well” since I had already completed my stuff, and was waiting for ML to finish his areas. So, SM brought me to the Sundarvan nature discovery centre.
It was also here that I saw clusters or schools of fruit bats!!!! Amazing!! They are wild by the way.
After ML had finished, AN, asked BS to bring both ML and I shopping. I tell you…. the hospitality of these guys are simply amazing! Apparently, ML told AN the last time that he liked the mangoes. Guess what I had to lug home with me on Thursday morning? Yeah… you guess right if you thought Mangoes. 1 BLODDY carton of the “BEST” Ahmedabad MANGOES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 Kgs worth of extra luggage! Its all ML’s fault…. I’ve toldh him.
Ayway, I digress…. BS brought us to several places, handcraft stores, fabric stores, shopping malls, the Samsonite showroom, etc.
This place had an amazing range of handcrafts. In fact, I spotted something I liked, a brass bust of the Sphinx. But, alas, it was too heavy and large to bring back to Singapore.
Then, after the shopping, AN invited ML and I over to his house for an authentic Southern Indian vegetarian dinner. AN’s wife, Annul (I think) kindly spent a better part of her evening preparing dinner for all of us. She is a university Physics lecturer, and I found her and AN extremely engaging and friendly. The first course of appetizers was served.
I don’t know what they’re called, but they were excellent! Not to forget the various chutneys that Annul made. Wow!!!!! Just simply out of this world!
Annul also prepared a glass of Mangoe drink for us. It was heavenly!
The main course was several servings of chickpeas, Chutney, Mango puree, some type of unleaven bread (like nunn), Curdled Milk in Mango Puree, and curdled milk in Yogurt… I may very well have left some things out. But, all in all, the meal was excellent. Coupled with the company, it was extremely enjoyable. By the time I finished, I was soooooo full, I was actually quite mad at myself. I had countless e-mails to rely that night, and I was simply not going to be able to stay awake. The jet lag was heping either.
Anyways, I made it through the night, and flew out of Ahmedabad the next morning. I think it will be quite soon that I pop by Ahmedabad again for work. I’m looking forward to the Chickpeas! Hah!!!!