another cliché
travel blog

a poorly kept travel journal

Larkspur ferry, again

Is ferry thing is becoming a bit of a tradition. Part of it is its convenience, but I also just like the view.

Four days.

Mt. Tam is pretty beautiful
Mt. Tam is pretty beautiful

I hate travel books

Seriously. On the one hand, they’re a great place to start. I know next to nothing about India, and after spending some time with google and getting an idea of what I’m looking for, I immediately reach for a travel guide. And then hate it because I’m sorry, Tibetan Buddhism isn’t a place on any map.

How the hell do you capture any place in a book? Even calling it ‘a place’ isn’t right. San Francisco now is totally different than Yerba Buena was then. It’s the people, the practice, life that makes it what it is.

Leaving on a jet plane

Starting something always seems like the hardest part. Once things are in motion, the easy thing to do is to continue. You have s goal, you’ve started working towards it, any obstacles that crop up are just part of getting the job done. But starting, taking that sometimes literal first step is always more difficult than it has any right to be.

Today, I left the house like I pretty much always do, bag on my back and a place to be. But knowing wasn’t going to return for another three weeks totally changed the feel of it.

Made it to the airport just fine, no rush or last minute “oh shits!”. Bethany ended up being right in front of me at the ticketing desk. While I was being processed, I could see that the ticketing agents were running into issues. While my very official looking piece of paper passed muster, it appeared that Bethany’s did not. Evidently the typed out email she received from the kind folks at the Indian Consulate didn’t contain the word “granted” in it, which was cause for concern. After threatening that they couldn’t let her on the flight without her visa, they pointed us towards a travel agency, which turned out to be a tiny little shop that sells travel size cosmetics and rents out computer use at absurd prices. Luckily, Bethany was able to call the appropriate office in India and get them to write out an email with the word “granted” in it and print it out.

Real secure, guys. Bang up job.

We got through security just find (with only a little extra scrutiny of my passport because I look real suspicious ) grabbed out last Mexican food for the next three weeks, a Sierra Nevada, and got on our plane bound for Zurich.


After landing, we took the train from the airport to Zurich Main Station. From there we wondered for a bit, awed by Zurich’s quaintness. Tiny little alleyways hidden until you’ve all but passed them that open up to courtyards with fountains. We found our Airbnb, a room above a bar that specializes in traditional Swiss music originally built in 1294, dropped our stuff, and went hunting for dinner.

Along the way, we did some window shopping (watches everywhere, because Switzerland), and ended up at what seemed to us a very Swiss place. One weinerschnitzel and jaegersnitzel later, we left to wander more.

Though most chocolate shops had closed up for the evening, we found one that had live music and picked up half a dozen bonbons each. Though the clerk’s English was quite good, his descriptions of each bonbon were flat out wrong. “That one? That’s a caramel.” Nope, truffle. “This one? It is a truffle” ok? Nope, filled with kirsch. The strangest description though was “this one is filled with….you know apricot? The nut from an apricot.” Definitely just hazelnut. So eating them was a bit of a landmine, unexpected flavor caused surprise.

Post chocolate, we practiced the choreography for Natasha’s wedding, then around midnight we passed out completely undisturbed by the enthusiastic accordion player and the stomping, whistling, dancing patrons downstairs.

Zurich to Delhi

Up at 7:30 after a decent night’s rest (guests entering a leaving s bar aren’t known for being quiet, and(at one point Bethany exclaimed “I don’t want to be half a house in Copenhagen!”) we grabbed breakfast at a cafe (prosciutto, Brie, and arugula panini for me, croissant, muslie with yogurt, cheese, and seeded bread for Bethany) and coffee before meandering back to Zurich Main Station to take the train back to the airport.

Bethany got the standard harassment about her visa at the gate, but it ended up working out.

Once we landed in Delhi, it was dead simple getting through immigration. The immigration officer didn’t even question Bethany’s visa. So, glad everyone else had been so thorough up to this point.

We collected our bags and made it the hotel, where were promptly made it to our rooms. I ordered s glass of wine, set out my things, then talked with Amy via WhatsApp till nearly 4:30, when I finally started feeling tired and passed out.

Agra and the Taj Mahal

Getting there

We got breakfast at the hotel, then got into the car Andy had arranged to take us to the Taj Mahal. I was expecting traffic to be crazy, but not like this. Wishing five minutes of starting out, we almost got hit by a bus. And that was no big deal. People park on the highway. There was even someone driving the wrong way down the highway like its no big deal.

At traffic lights, near the slums kids peddling shiny trinkets like balloons on sticks surrounded the car and tapped on the glass trying to get out attention. Once they started kicking the car, our driver popped the locks, opened the door and yelled at them to back off. Honestly, I can’t even process such complete poverty.

After we made it out of Delhi, it was just farms for miles. It’s amazing how, even across the world, things look familiar. The green belt between Delhi and Agra looks exactly the same as the green belt between Sebastopol and Santa Rose. Large green areas with an occasional lone tree.


The city of Agra itself, our driver told us, is extremely old.

Haus Kanz

Grabbed breakfast in the morning and ran into Nancy in the lobby. We got her statues, then got food.

Bethany and I worked till almost 5, then we grabbed an Uber out to Haus Kanz, a cute little district.

Around 8, Bethany, Andy, and Nancy headed back to the hotel via metro, and I stayed and did s bit more window shopping. Ended up grabbing a kingfisher in a bar called Maquina, which was all done up to look like the cabin of an airship. There was some live music, but all told it wasn’t enough to justify the Rs. 500 for the kingfisher. Oh well.

Caught an Uber back to the hotel and passed out.


Fell into the rhythm, slow mornings, then an outing in the afternoon/evening. Today, I hung out by the pool and worked, then around two, we took the subway out to greater Kailash and went shopping. The metro station was about two miles from the shopping district, so we took an auto rickshaw (tutu I if we were in Thailand) after walking through AIIMS (All India Instutitue of Medical Science) which is near I.I.T.

After shopping, we grabbed some food at a bar called Laidback (stylized with the first ‘a’ on it’s spine), then took the metro back to our hotel. Everyone was passed out by 10.

Lodi Gardens

Work in the morning, dance practice mid day, then a subway ride out to Lodi Gardens.

Couples everywhere.

Then, almond bread pudding, a “Cunning Stunt” (champagne, whiskey, vodka, and mediocrity). I’m guessing the place was run by Brits who think they have a sense of humor.

Lots of western music, including numerous covers. I was amused.

Wedding day one: The dance

##the day Don’t remember. Will try to unforget.

##the dance So much god damn fun!

Invitation said things started at 8, but we arrived at 8:30 and were some of the first guests. So, we got a drink, a bit of food, half ass practiced once, then talked with people. Met Samir, who lives in Carmel valley with his wife Jen, and Twins Connor and….trouble.

The dance went off amazingly. We totally messed up, but it was soooo much fun. Everyone had a great time. Embarrassed the hell out of Natasha.

One of the dances was by four women, I think all aunts of some sort, that Natasha choreographed. I was told it was “very Punjabi” and was basically just talking shit about nNatasha’s mother in law. Which is hilarious, because I understand they have a great relationship.

At some point during the evening, the banquet hal opened up and started serving enough food for twice the number of guests. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that trend would continue through the end of the weekend.

From there, we danced and drank until two am, after the DJ shut down for the third time, but this time for real because security came in and made it clear this needed to stop. So we sat around eating and bullshitting till three thirty, and I caught a ride back to the hotel and promptly passed out.

Wedding day two: medhi

After everyone recovered from the previous night, we gathered at e Hotel Mapple (with an extra ‘p’ because India) for medhi, aka henna. Natasha, the poor thing, had been up since 8 getting rubbed down with something that is supposed to make her skin glow, and only after that could she start getting ready. So by 11 or so when everyone showed up, she was just starting go get henna’d. Both Hands up most of her forearm, and both feel well up her calves. The guys doing it were incredibly quick and able to create amazing patterns on the fly. Each one is different. On one hand, they hid the letters to Aditya’s name, and on the other Natasha’s. Evidently it’s some game for him to find them. I kind of expected that medhi was some sacred ceremony, but from what I gathered, it’s basically just there to be pretty. What became increasingly apparent about India is that what matters is that you do it, not that its’ solemn, or sacred, or done well. Just that it gets throb done sufficiently.

As far as I could tell, the party is basically the to keep Natasha fed and entertained while the henna dries, which takes a couple hours. So, ere was copious amounts of food and some music.

Out of nowhere, some intense drumming started and the groomsmen and the drummers appeared. Through some sort of call and response that no one seemed to quite understand fully, different groups of people were called out to dance. Of course the google crew was one of them, but we had to be told.

After Medhi, we all went back to the hotel and took care of work stuff till ten, then walked over to Kingdom of Dreams for dinner. Imagine The Venetian in Vegas, but completely deserted. Vaguely unsettling.

Wedding day three: the ceremony

Tied the knot. Or walked around the book for times. Whatever.

Following the ceremony, we went back to the Mapple for food. And drinking. And dancing.

At one point Katie and I took a break and marveled at how awesome it is that everyone in India dances. It’s just a thing you do.

Wedding day four: The reception

Today was the only day without dancing! After a fairly quiet morning inside that castle, we made it over to the Air Force Auditorium lawn around 2:15. It took us about an extra half hour to forty minutes because only Air Force personnel and their families are allowed on the base, which Uber tried to route us through, rather than staying on the freeway a bit longer and going around. Eh. It’s much more difficult to argue with someone while they’re holding onto an assault rifle.

But once we did get there, it was positively sedate in contrast to the other days. More food than three times the number of guests could eat, Thai, Chinese, American, continental, and northern Indian, plus a dessert bar with all kinds of stuff, appetizers being passed, chaiwala, and a full bar including a bunch of mocktails.

That night, I got packed for the next week (five days hiking in the Himalayas) and booked flights to Kovalam beach from Dharamshala.

I was planning on heading to the afterparty, but things fell through. So it is.

Travel to McLeod ganj

It’s funny. Right as the flight attendant announced the decent, I realized I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m going from one city to another. I don’t know where, exactly, I headed, other than “it’s near a water tank”. I’m not sure where I’m supposed to be tomorrow morning, or when. I’m flying into an airport that’s probably about the size of the Santa Rosa Airport, and probably has fuck all facilities.

And the hardest part about it is I’m alone. No one to struggle through this with, no one familiar. No internet, unless I can find wifi, so no one I can even talk with stateside. Which, want difference would it make? I’d still be struggling through the same issues. Not too far from monkeys, are we?

Then I saw this:

And I figured, eh, it’s going to be fine. This is what I came for, it’s gonna work out.

And work out it did. I got off the plane (it was 70 something and sunny), and into the airport, which, as expected, was about as elaborate as STS. No wifi. I don’t like it. Off to a bad start. Walked out hoping to see a cab, but no luck. Well shit. Tried to walk back in the airport. The nice army man with an assault rifle said no, just after I walked out. I didn’t even leave his field of view. This is going swimmingly.

I walked further away from the airport, hoping that I could figure out which way “town” was and could find a taxi. Passing through the barricade, I hear “taxi, taxi” and my ears perk up. Of course he notices and comes running over. McLeod ganj? 800. Non negotiable. See, it’s written right here on paper.

Well, at least I got a ride to McLeod ganj. On the way, we pass by a cell phone store, so manage to communicate to my driver that I need to stop, he pulls over, and I get a SIM card. Hopefully, this leads to data.

Make it to McLeod ganj, and start wandering. Find myself a cafe that if I woke up in, I would assume was in Berkeley, at least till I got a good look out the window. The sound of milk foaming, burnt coffee, and hippies. Home. I get on wifi, and start getting my bearings. I decide on a game plan and pay my bill. The waiter asks where I’m staying and I tell him I was just about to find out. He shows me a couple rooms they have at a reasonable price, so I bite. And within an hour of landing a city away, and $20 later, I have a ride to the right place, a room, and a cup of ginger honey tea. Not bad.

I drop my stuff and wander some more. I get water. Then I get 16 veggie momos. For 80IND. So, awesome. I prep my bag for the next day, and crawl into bed to do so,e reading before passing out. fireworks have been going off all day, but then they start to pick up. First I just figure it’s just because it’s dark. Then I realize. Fuck. It’s Chinese New Year. Which is Tibetan new year, aka losar, which is why all those “happy losar” banners were hung up. I struggle between girls in blindfolds and comfort, and eventfully convince myself I have to prove it to me nothing’s going on. So I get up, throw on a jacket and wander. After wandering for 15 minutes, I managed to convince myself I wasn’t missing anything (I wasn’t, steets were deserted, shops were closed), and crawled back in bed and passed out.

Getting a SIM in India

Things you need

  1. Photocopy of your passport*
  2. A passport photo
  3. A copy of your visa*
  4. Your home address in the US
  5. Your father’s name

*if you don’t have copies of those, they may have a photocopier there. Or they may not.

The process

  1. Have an unlocked phone
  2. Find a shop that sells SIM cards. Vodaphone and idea both seem reliable.
  3. Tell them you want a SIM
  4. They’ll ask you for a copy of your passport, a passport photo, your visa, and then your home address (i.e. not in India) and your father’s name.
  5. SIM cards cost Rs. 150. and data is roughly Rs. 150/Gb. Tell them how much you want.
  6. They’ll give you your SIM card. SIM cards come in different sizes, but larger cards can be cut down to smaller sizes. If you’re not sure what size SIM card you need, ask and they can check for you by taking out your current SIM card. Be sure to keep track of your current SIM card—you’ll need it when you get back home.
  7. The shop will give you a phone number to call in about a day. Until you call this number, your phone will have signal, but you’ll only be able to make emergency calls.
  8. The next evening, call the number they gave you. Generally, the person on the other line will speak enough English to understand that you’re a foreigner and will transfer you to someone else who deals with foreign SIM activations. Just stay on the line until you get someone who speaks English. They will ask you for your name, address, and your father’s name.
  9. You’re done! It can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours to get full service.

Hiking day one: McLeod ganj to Kareri village

Get up and out, grab a what looks like a veggie turnover, and eat it in front of the guest house. Girl passes by, asking where I got it. Start talking. She got to India two days ago, and mcleodganj less than an hour ago. She decides to join my trek.

We trek the day, then get to a little village that evening. We hang around for a bit,my then our guide takes us around the village to meet his brother and his family. They’re adorable and invite us to a dance that night in honor of another villager’s upcoming marriage.

We eat dinner. That was a hell of an experience. Write more about it.

After dinner, Catherine decides it’s bed time, so she passes out, mr. John and I watch a bit of cricket with the local school teacher, then head to the dance.

I saw a twelve year old boy from a tiny village in the Himalayas that probably has no more than 1,000 USD pass through it a year make it rain. We danced.

I went to bed. Then they played delhiwali girlfriend.

Hiking day two: out and back to some Kareri Peak

Mr. John woke us up with tea. What kind of luxe shit is this? At the time, I was half a world away dreaming that I was in a restaurant/something close to a Google cafe. Natasha was definitely involved, we had a big group table downstairs, and we were going somewhere together. Vishanka (but not her. She looked like some one else, blonde, used a cane) ordered a sugar doughnut, but they only had glazed sugar donuts. That was ok. 500 calories, still. It turned out we had less time than we thought, so I went upstairs to the kitchen to get the attention of the staff to try to get everything to go. The kitchen staff was busy, so to get their attention, I basically threw a shit fit by piling my three bags right in the walk way in front of the counter, blocking the way. As soon as the staff noticed, a couple other people in our group were coming up the stairs, one of whom was Not-Vishanka, and then I woke up to mr. John, chai, and the Himalayas. Ok.

Hiked up, will attach pictures when I can.

One photo of a beehive/shrine to the God of work.

First snow in our path

Snow hovels

Bear tracks

Got back. Had lemon and honey tea. Passed out for a bit, had dinner. Finished dinner, went dancing. Taught the kids thriller, the chicken dance, the shopping cart, and wanted to teach them to tweak, but Catherine gave me the stink eye. Probably for the best. Then around ten we went to bed. Venga boys is playing. boom boom boom, I want you in my room.

Hiking day three: Kareri village to John's house

Hike hike hike. Saw a beautiful updraft through the valley. Had a great conversation with Catherine about sins of the father, what right a 20 year old German person has to feeling guilty about the holocaust, what right I have as the grandson of people sent to interment camps AND a captain in the Air Force during world war 2 to feel guilt and or indignant, what right I would have, if I were to convert to Judaism, to the Jewish legacy, and how the discourse of rape in the United States lacks nuance. So, light conversation.

Got to our guide’s home where we spent the night. After setting up the tent, Catherine and I both journaled fir a bit, then I went out and walked around John’s village for an hour. As I was coming back, John was just bringing cups of soup to the tent. That woke Catherine up and we took them along with us as we scrabbled around the hills by John’s house. From the top, I snapped a photo of my shoes for today’s shoey back in mountain view, and had enough signal to send it off. After that, we both sacked out for a bit, then once John came back from the village, we had dinner (dal and rice, which I still don’t think I’ll ever get sick of), saw the baby get washed, rubbed down with mustard oil, and swaddled in the cutest blanket that had one corner doubled to turn it into a hood. John then brought out his wedding album and we checked that out.. Pretty cool stuff.

At this point John had one half tied on, I promised him a phone. He’s relatively well off, has a TV, glass windows in wooden frames, a Pooja sewing machine, and a nice house, but no toilet. So sending him a nexus, eh.

Had an interesting conversation though. The first adjective John used to describe Apple was “expensive” and “not worth it”, which itself is interesting, because it further suggests that Android is popular because of price, not just because it’s android. However, another data point is one of Natasha’s aunties, who said that she had Apple phone and returned it because she didn’t like it.

Hiking day four: John's house to Triund

Gorgeous hiking. The best so far, by a long shot. It occurred to me without strong conservative land use policy, in a country of over a billion people, if it’s a place worth spending time, people will live there. So, it’s really hard in India to get anywhere nice that doesn’t have a village stuck there, too.

Got some great photos.

Hiking day five: Triund to Mcleod Gange

After passing the night in a literally freezing, but otherwise comfortable room (no electricity, uninsulated wooden walls), having had some pretty wild dreams, I woke up before dawn and alternately watched it get progressively lighter and dozed. Around 7:45 John woke us up with tea and we slowly collected our things as the weather improved.

We took our time coming down off Triund, descending in four hours what easily could have been two, but it didn’t feel bad to take it slow. The cook and I started out by high tailing it until we reached the magic view chai shop, at which point I ordered tea and chatted briefly with two doctors from Calcutta, (Apurva and Ayan?)

We had passed everyone coming down the mountain, and it was early enough that no one had made it that far up, so for the better part of fourth minutes, we sat in relative silence. Then asshats with speakers, dub step, and litter showed up and started yelling. Eh.

Once Catherine and John caught up, we sat for a bit, then continued slowly down, letting the guides go on ahead of us. We hiked to Himachal Trekkers HQ, where we had a great lunch, then back to McLeod gang via tuk tuk to pay Malkeet the remaining balance.

We squared up, then both got rooms at Kunga guest house. I wandered for a bit, bought the cheapest cell phone I could find that had wifi for testing, then sat reading and drinking tea all afternoon. A man who turned out to be the owner struck up a conversation about phones, and after that conversation ran its course, I stood up to use the restroom in my room. As I walked out, one of the staff stopped me and asked if I was hungry, indicating to an extra plate of bruschetta the kitchen had made for a Swiss couple. I accepted the food, ate it, then dropped stuff in my room. I came back for another cup of tea and some reading. Even though I came by the food because of a mistake in the kitchen, I still benefited form it and felt compelled to pay for the Swiss couple’s meal (and I had a slice of cake). The couple came by and thanked me for their meal, and we chatted for a bit. Turns out they run a guest house in Einzeidel, Switzerland, just north of Zurich, a place called St. Joseph’s, and offered me a room if I ever came by. She also slipped me a Swiss Army knife, which was totally unexpected, but awesome.

After that, Catherine and I talked about the importance of genetics on relationships, then Amy and I talked for a couple hours before I passed out.

Travel to Kovalam Beach

Woke up around 6:30, well before my alarm went off, turned on the geyser (geezer in local parlance) and lounged in bed for another hour. Finished the Use of Weapons, then took as long of a nice hot shower as the geezer allowed. Unfortunately, I knew it wouldn’t run long enough to shave, so the beard stayed. Ugh. Started malaria prophylactics. insert Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “ugh double ‘ugh’ ugh ugh”. Had a couple cups of tea upstairs at Nick’s, ran into Catherine one last time, and then hired a taxi back to the airport. The driver’s name was Lucky, and we had a nice conversation down the hill. He was hoping to buy a car next month, rather than having to rent/pay someone else for the use of the car he was driving. Among other things, we talked ut local traffic laws both in Himachal Pradesh and California, and I mentioned it was something like a $200 fine for not wearing your seat belt. He looked at my shocked and said that was like two months salary for him.

At the airport, waiting the flight, the whole place lost power for about ten seconds before things had way clicked back on. Interesting.

Walking out to the plane on the Tarmac, it struck me how very different it felt than the last time I was here. Anxious, nervous, unsure how I was going to find my destination, unsure about the week ahead. Coming back couldn’t have contrasted more. I wonder how much of that was having at least a rough plan, and how much was having data, having the knowledge that I could look up whatever info I could need. Maybe it’s just that my next step is to go lay on a beach and get a massage, rather than do something I hope I’m prepared for up in the mountains.

We arrived in Delhi with just under enough time to comfortably leave the airport, check out a coffee house, and return, so after making it through security (having my boarding pass reviewed or stamped on no less than five occasions, all for things that no one seemed to care about) I began rereading Use of Weapons and wandered. Saw a single ladder being carried by four people, with a fifth to supervise. Walked to the end of Terminal 3 by gate 26B, and saw an airport employee with an oversized butterfly net hanging out. Hmmm. Not far past him, at the end of the terminal where the class walls come to an overhung point, pigeon feathers littered the ground. Walking back, I even saw one flying down the terminal like it was no big deal.

Unrelatedly, I’ve decided I’m not a fan of Delhi.

Something that occurred to me: so much of India’s pop culture is about attraction between men and women (not to say the US is any different) but arranged marriages are still common, at least outside the metro areas. Hmmmmm.

##later After reaching TRV (whose name I’m still hopelessly unable to pronounce), I got out of the airport and met the driver outside. I realized that if I was somehow unable to meet him (or her), I was kind of a pickle. Bethany was likely passed out, I had no idea the name of the hotel I was staying at, where exactly it was, who I was supposed to meet…really any details. Whatever. It was 80 degrees and swampy. I could literally spend the night nearly anywhere and be fine. Luckily though, a man holding a sign that said Mr. Matt Sugihara was out front. We exchanged pleasantries, then took a 20 minute drive to the hotel. Checked in, and the bell hop was exceedingly eager to take my bag. Unfortunately so. I figured he was working for a tip, but when we got to my room, he dropped my bag and promptly disappeared.

Bethany and I were both stoked to see a familiar face. We spent the next hour trading highlights while I got ready for bed, then we passed out around one.

At three, the same bellhop burst into our room, saying “wake up wake up wake up” turned on the lights, and then, once he saw he had out attention kept repeated “luggage”. Really? I tried to figure out what he was after, but Bethany had the right idea. “First off turn off the light!” Which he did, then when I got up in only my underwear to try to figure out what he wanted, she just shouted “Leave! Get out,” which he understood.

We promptly deadbolted the door and passed back out.

Kovalam beach

We woke up at 6:50 for yoga at 7:30, which was held on a roof of a nearby hotel overlooking the beach. Not bad.

After yoga, we walked back up to our hotel, had breakfast, talked with the front desk about what the hell happened the previous night (their story was that he confused the room numbers with some other guests who were leaving that night), and showered. I answered email and scheduled my flight back to Delhi, while Bethany met up with Shaji to work out costs. I got an Ayurvedic massage (eh), met up for lunch, then headed to yoga at 3:30. This time it was held inside, still on the roof but in a cavernous windowed room. Pretty cool. Part way through, someone in robes came in with what looked like a censer, but that sprinkled water (maybe salt?). Following that, we went swimming with the other person in the class, Fanny, a french woman visiting there with her mom. She seemed to give zero fucks, and stripped down to her underwear right on the beach to go swimming, drawing many a look from the Indian men. I glared back at them in return, and they quickly looked away.

We showered again, then wandered the strip looking for dinner. We ended up having s nice slow dinner, at Spice Garden, then head back to the room and passed out at midnight for 7 am yoga.

Kovalam beach and travel to Delhi

We got up early for yoga, had an ok session (The instructor tried to force me into a headstand, which is always a good maneuver), then breakfast. Bethany dashed to the airport, I packed up, then stashed my stuff with the front desk. Hung out at the Swiss cafe for a couple hours, went swimming, walked the strip, got lunch, then showered and headed to the airport. Got into Delhi around 11, hired an Uber to The Metropolitan, which turned out to be in a much nicer area than The Westin and overall more comfortable, if not quite as luxurious.

Delhi, again

Upon Bethany’s urging, I checked my flight info again and found an off by one error in how google figures travel arrangements. I’M GOING HOME!!!

India’s been great, but I’m ready. This trip has made me realize that one thing I really value is potable tap water.

So, last day: we had brunch at the hotel, slowly got ready and answered work email, and left the hotel around 2:30. We walked over to Jantar Mantar, an observatory built in in the 18th century to tell time, now made unworkable by the surrounding buildings, then over to the India Gate, a arch built by the British to commemorate the young men they got killed fighting in wars on the other side of the world.

We got back to the hotel room, packed up, met up with Bethany’s friend Ajit for dinner and ice cream, then headed to the airport.

Travel home

Made it out of Delhi no problem, it was an easy flight to Zurich. I slept most of the flight, though I didn’t realize it until I saw that we only had 1,100km left to fly. We got into Zurich at 6:30 as planned, then made it to the Google office there. Ate breakfast, got coffee, answered emails, took a shower, then back to the airport. Felt exactly like a Google office.

I’m beginning to think Marx had it right. I can go to basically any major city in the world, eat, sleep, shower, work out, play, or work without having to ask ANYONE. By being able to enter the building, it’s proof that I have been granted the rights to do so. It’s a head trip.