14 February 2008

Mumbai Riots

The last few days the streets of Mumbai have been stirred by unrest. A political leader was arrested for spreading enmity between people. His followers burnt down taxis and attacked public property in several places. An unfortunate bystander was stabbed by a mob. By now all rioting has stopped and the political leader has been released on bail. It sure explains why we got to the office so quickly in the morning. People had fled the streets staying home to be safe. Shops lowered the blinds. Although all of this took place quite close we saw nothing disturbing. The only thing we noticed was that traffic had changed in our favour. Read more in the Times of India (search for MNS and Mumbai).

Office times bring about a special rhythm of the day. My Dutch colleagues and I have breakfast around 8:15 and drive to the office at 9:00, arriving at 9:45. At this point only a minority of the Indian people have arrived. They will arrive within the next hour or so. You already know what time lunch . We work until 18:45. The Indians take an extra break at around 17:00. Depending on traffic we arrive at the hotel at 19:30 – 19:45. Since eating together is more fun than sitting with a goldfish for company a rather elaborate meal follows. Most of the time we break up at 22:00.

Valentine's day is the talk of the day. I'll keep it short by posting the following picture.

A colleague of mine knows of a tailor that comes to the hotel to make you a suit. Since driving cost a lot of time this seems like an interesting choice. My colleague and I inform at the reception desk for the tailor but it seems that there is no tailor at the office. As my colleague has been here before last year and befriended the operational manager (from Holland) he has him called. Of course this can be arranged. He'll inform and call him back on his mobile. At the office he gets the call that the tailor will be at the hotel in the evening. He's about 1m60 and has an amazing shirt on, fat black and purple stripes. To top it off he sports a broomy moustache. He lays out the fabrics and starts going through them one at a time mentioning prices. Somehow I swallow when a 75000 Inr fabric passes. Most of the prices are way out of the budget I set for myself. So it takes quite some convincing that I "do not want two suits". In a final attempt he tries to sell me a shirt to match but the fabrics are a bit uninspiring. Tomorrow he'll return for the first fitting. I wonder what it will look like.

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