Global Game Industry News Blog

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Posting Pictures

It has come to my attention, that I'm boring. ;) Just kidding. I know I haven't posted nearly enough pictures of my trip, but I'm going to remedy that RIGHT NOW.

This was the place I stayed while in Bangalore. It was a cute little service apartment about 4 blocks from Dhruva Interactive, the company that I was working with there. The kid who worked/lived there was nice, putting up with me coming home late. That was probably the most interesting aspect of the service apartment was that the help actually lived and worked there. He was around at all hours if you needed something. Service apartments came about actually because hotel prices in Bangalore are astronomical, even by US standards. In many cases people will stay at a hotel during the week and fly somewhere else on the weekends to avoid paying the weekend rates at hotels. I was happy to have this spot though.

One evening I ordered Dominoes Pizza (I know, I'm a sissy American), but I was craving cheese. Anyway, I ended up sharing a couple of slices with the kid. He was really nice and always willing to help out. His English was ok, but he got the important things, "shaver" (razor), "coffee", "laundry", "beer". It worked out well.

This is the main office of Dhruva in Bangalore. They actually own the building next door, as well as another building a block over. It's a cute place. It's got a spot on the roof of the building where they serve lunches. Parking is limited, but most folks ride mopeds or motorcycles into work anyway. Only a couple of people drive in cars regularly. You can see the corner of an auto-rickshaw in this picture. I think they were dropping off lunch actually.

I managed to make it out to the country on one day, offering myself up to the mosquito gods. It actually was just fine. I think I'd managed to consume enough spicy food by that point, that I wasn't totally attractive to mosquitoes, certainly not as much as a McDonald's fed white-boy. This was at a secular ashram outside of town called Fireflies. I was was there to meet with some members of the SILK list, a mailing list started by a guy named Udhay, and also referenced by Chris Kelty's work on Geeks and social imaginaries. I met all sorts of interesting people at this event. It was actually really neat, while we were there, about dusk there were thousands of dragonflies buzzing around, I can only assume they were munching on mosquitoes, but I'd never seen so many in one concentrated area. It was quite beautiful.

So, from ashram to the Bangalore pubs. This is one thing that Bangalore is known for, it's pub scene. There are numerous urban professionals that frequent these pubs. Many play hard rock or heavy metal. This particular one "Le Rock" played Led Zeplin, Metallica, and numerous other "metal" bands, however they did so from DVD rather than from CD or MP3, so one wall contained a large TV showing the video that went with the music. Quite interesting. This is Vinay from Dhruva. No, he's not drinking it all by himself. Keyshav and myself were quite capable as well.

Oddly enough, if Bangalore has a pub scene, Hyderabad has a lounge scene. I'll try to get some pictures.

So, auto-rickshaws, my primary means of transportation in Bangalore. Now that I'm in Hyderabad, I'm fed up with rick's. The ones in Bangalore, as long as you knew the town name, and cross streets, you were fine. You would likely arrive with only minor detours along the way. Hyderabad has been another story completely. Between them not wanting to run the meters and negotiating rates up front and then changing the amount they want on arrival, pretending to not have change, attempting to drive you all over town, driving like speed demons, and my recent favorite was the knocking over of a pedestrian, I've been mostly walking here in Hyderabad. Though the infrastructure here in Hyderabad is far superior to Bangalore's, it is counteracted (at least for me) by an inability to explain to rickshaw drivers where I want to go. Naming a town and streets does little good, and even when I do manage to convince them where to go, I have to actually direct them most of the way, often being dropped off prior to where I had been expecting to be dropped off. Not so fun.

Here is the hotel I'm staying at in Hyderabad. It's quite nice. Tequa has even gotten the royal treatment here. No, I didn't place her there, the cleaning people did. She says it's not time to go yet. She likes the people working here.


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