First Business Trip for 2016

In less than 10 days, I am flying to a neighbouring country. It’s going to be a hectic one and has many firsts for me personally.

  1. It’s a ten day trip. It’s that long I will be away from my babies.
  2. I would be flying to two other locations within the country.
  3. Would be taking the local country’s national flight for domestic travel. One of which is a low cost carrier.
  4. One of the flights transits at another location
  5. In total, I will staying in 4 different hotels.
  6. I will be flying on planes from 4 different airlines.

I will be missing two weddings due to this trip.

Poisoned Myself

I was quite excited to know and see for myself that the coffee vending machine in our Indian office comes equipped with fresh milk. Elsewhere, it is creamer that is used. I was personally very excited and was in awe to see the fresh milk container fixed to the machine. I quickly grabbed a cup and got myself a coffee. Shortly, after taking few sips, I was feeling nauseous. I wanted to throw up. My tummy was acting up. Head started to spin.

Had to go to the loo a few times. And finally puked too. Each time I came back to the meeting room, I felt awful. The moment I step out, all is fine.

And then the light bulb lit. It was the fresh milk. You see, I developed an allergic reaction to fresh milk when I was pregnant. The mere smell of it would trigger nausea and make me puke. No wonder, the small cup of coffee was aggravating the symptoms while I was in the room as the cup was just beside me.

Stupid is how I felt!

 

Magnificient India

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This is my second business trip to Delhi this year, 14-19 Dec 2014. What can I say? I have fallen in love with this country and its people. Yes. It is a 180 degrees turn from my very first experience way back.

I guess it has got to do with the stressful nature of trip then and the kind people I had to deal with it. This time around, it was just so different. Practically everyone was bending backwards to accomodate me in this trip.

A short summary:

  • managed to catch Lingaa the evening before the morning flight to India the next day.
  • shopped like crazy in Reliance Trends
  • Went to Lajpat Nagar. Good choice of materials though I didn’t but any as I am not much into stitching suits. Bought dried nuts from Sindhi and a bag from one of the stalls. Was looking for authentic indian cushion covers but couldn’t find one at a reasonable price.
  • Regret not buying some kurtha tops for the boys from Lajpat nagar.
  • Managed to eat in Moti Mahal Express. 🙂
  • Haldiram shopping was a must
  • Return flight was delayed by more than hour. Initial time was to depart at 9.25pm. The actual take off was at about 10.52pm only.
  • Did not buy liquor or ciggy for family. I no longer want to contribute to their unhealthy lifestyle.
  • First time experienced winter in Delhi. The coldest was 5 degrees. The last trip I made was during summer. Back in May, I experienced 41 degrees.
  • I left a pair of jeans in the room. 😦
  • Bought some aroma therapy oils and incense sticks at the airport. A wonderful buy!
  • Saw few kamasutra coffee table books at the airport bookstores. Looked very nice. Thought of buying one back home. didn’t for a reason which seems silly now.
  • Wanted to buy Mahahabaratha by Kamala Sunbramaniam. Om bookstore did not carry those. I am now looking at other means of getting it here in Malaysia.
  • That said, I managed to get Ajaya, Jaya, Sita & Palace of Illusions. At one point I was reading books by ethnic Chinese authors. Now, it’s Indian authors!
  • Last but not least, the head of the head with whom I deal actually came to say hi when he heard I was there. He specifically mentioned the issues I had dealt with before and the people who had said a thing or two about me. These are the top level mgmt group I am talking about. I was so humbled by the whole scenario. Recognition comes when you least expect it and in ways you can’t guess. Hardwork pays! Thank you!

Lingaa                                                                                                                                                            What could I say? Rajini as the Maharaj rocked! And the intro train sc ene? Warehwah! Though Sonakshi Sinha looked out of place in a poverty stricken village, she was such a delight to watch. I love Anushka however I felt she was too made up for her intro scene. So much so, she looked like a drag queen. She redeemed herself in Mona Mona though.

This is a true K.S.Ravikumar movie. No interference from ANYONE nor was there a George Bush. *evil laugh*

Business Trip To China

I left Malaysia on the 15th of June. Will be here till the 21st. This is my second trip.

Day 1

Previously, I stayed in The Garden hotel. This time around, we are staying at Marriott, Tien He. The check in counter at the hotel is at the 5th floor. Yes. You enter the building, take a lift to the 5th floor. Another set of lifts would take you to the rooms. Whether you like it or not, to get to your room/entrance of the hotel, you get up/down to the 5th floor, change lifts to get to your destination. Interesting huh?

Dinner was at this restaurant called Element Fresh. Big in portion and big in price. Cant help much given it is part of the Taikoo Hui.

The food in Guangzhou is generally costly. Though that did not prevent me from eating good food. Taxis are ample, though you should be wary of the timings. Peak time would see most of the taxis occupied. So, we must ensure we leave at the right time to avoid late arrival/hungry tummy.

Day 2

Lunch was at Crowne Plaza. We had Dim Sum at the Mei Hua Chinese Restaurant.

We had Thai food for dinner in this restaurant called Yummi in the Grandview Mall. To say the food was yummy is an understatement.

Day 3-Day 5

  • Week long, breakfast was an assortment of fast foods like a burger or nuggets from McD’s/KFC. Other times, it was a sandwich from Starbucks.
  • Desert was ice-cream from either of the two joints above.
  • Lychee was in season. Ate that in abundance.
  • Had lunch twice in Crowne Plaza, both times at Hao Chi Gourmet Restaurant.
  • Dinner for the second time, was at Yummi.
  • Visited the People’s Park, viewed the Canton Tower & Opera House.
  • Another colleague also took us for a drive around the city after dinner at Xin Yue Muslim restaurant.
  • Night view of Tien He is simply awesome.
  • Visited Beijing Street again. Bought a Ultraman watch for N. Had food at this restaurant called Lombok Indonesian restaurant.
  • Took a walk to the Tee Mall and had dinner at the Pizza Hut.
  • Walked about at the many retails stores along the metro station of Tee Mall.
  • Did a little shopping at Aeon for the boys.

Day 6

Did some minor shopping at H&M in Grandview Mall before checking out at 11.15am. First time ever, I experienced delayed flight. It was first scheduled at 2.40pm, only to take off at 4pm. Good too as my husband’s charter bus was also delayed-he was away on his company’s team building.

Shamelessly asked if the best peanuts served in Malaysia Airlines is not served this time around. Received those peanuts from the steward generously.

Summary

  • A steward was flirting with me. This was en route to Guangzhou.
  • A steward was generous to pack peanuts for me. I consider these two events as a personal highlights. Definitely a confidence booster! Hah! This was on the flight home.
  • I would recommend all the eateries mentioned here. The food was very good.
  • Even a mundane business trip would be cheerful when you have the right people with you.
  • It pays to be nice to all.
  • The truth will emerge, somehow. I experienced this first hand and it is related to work. Also that people actually observe you at work. The higher ones, I mean.
  • All in all, this was one the best business trip I ever had.
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The police patrol van in Beijing Street

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My McD breakfast

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The Canton Tower

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The Asian Games Stadium

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View from the People’s Park

Note:

I started this post while still in China, well, the intro and Day 1 was at least. The rest were written this morning. So, please excuse the tenses.

India, Here I Come (A Pictorial Collage)

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Summing It Up

A perfect closure for an almost perfect trip, I say. Can’t believe the 5 days just flew by. The only scary thing was the power cut experiences in the hotel at night. Though each of the three lasted for less than a second each, it was still scary for me.

On Thursday, the weather temperature was at 43 degrees! The hottest I have ever experienced, ever.

I did most of my shopping at the Ambience Mall. Visited India gate and saw the Presidential Palace from afar. Took a walk at Connaught Place while heading to Barbeque Nation.

And of course, continued with some more shopping at the airport. This time looking for some Indian home decor. The airport is simply awesome.

Just something to note, it took me awhile to get used to seeing people like me EVERYWHERE. Indians, indians, indians all around me. I could get used to that! 😀

India, Here I Come (My Homage to Indian Food)

Food! Food! Glorious Food!

Panchawati Gaurav
We were treated to a sumptuous lunch at Panchavati Gaurav. It was a thali meal and there’s no menu as all they serve is a fixed Thali. Eat all you can is the concept. The waiters would go around and fill your plate with one item after another. It’s up to you when you want to call it quits.

Eight small eversilver containers were placed on a big kick ass eversilver tray. Gravies, veges and a payasam like sweet. This does not include an array of pickles, chutneys and a huge masala papadam, a jelebi, an idli like item with gravy in between and fried pakora. Washed it all down with free flow of mini puris, parantha with ghee and bajra

I was even scooping the gravies on its own after stopping the breads!

The icing was the fresh mango pulp with cashews on it. Divine!

Moti Mahal Express
Chicken Biryani
Chicken Tikka Biryani
Butter naan & Tandoori Chicken
Garlic naan & Tikka Tandoori Chicken

Four days in a row, my dinner was at Moti Mahal Express. Do I need to say how much I loveeeeeeeee this eatery?!

Breakfast at the hotel
Puri with Sambhar
Chole Bathure
Plain Paratha
Stuffed Paratha with Aloo
Stuffed Paratha with Paneer
Mangoes
Lassis (name the flavour, you get it!)
Idli (not my take)
Hakka noodles (Indian style)
Fried rice
Upma (different kinds, some days)
Poha
Pongal
Egg omelette with masala!
Rajma something

I am omitting the non-indian fare deliberately. How can I not enjoy the breakfast?! Like today, it was the first ever time I tried the stuffed paratha with paneer. It was yummy is an understatement.

Food at the office cafetaria
At 40 rupees fixed price, we get rice, unlimited chapati, a gravy, a chicken dish and a sweet of the day. How cool is that?

Cocoa By Cafe Belgique (Connaught Place)
Had some finger food here while waiting for Barbeque Nation to reopen at 7pm.

Barbeque Nation
Yes, dinner was at Babu Ganesan. Hahaha. The theme was Grand Trunk Road, meaning food from the major states passed formed the appetizer. We were full just be eating the appetizers. Grilled chicken, shrimp, fried fish, some others name not known. Awesomeness all over.

I was too full even to try a mouthful Biryani which was part of the main course buffet. I am regretting it till today.

Did not fail to try the desserts though. Miniature gulab jamuns…in perfectly prepared syrup oh la la…