Well, it’s been another few weeks in India and I’m starting to be very bad at keeping the blog up to date… I can only apologise (no doubt again) for that. So, what’s been going on…
As always, it’s been 100 miles an hour on the travel front around India with work. Not helped it has to say by being bit of a tourist guide at the start of the month. We had the new Director in charge of the Legal Entity take a jaunt over at the start of the month. Which means showing off our good work, and he was quickly followed by the Acting Head of Audit for our Business Unit requiring a chaperone to our Kolkata sites & back to Mumbai to see both operations here. Now I like to think of myself as a morning person… but when 0430 starts are translated back to GMT, getting up before you would normally go to bed feels wrong… not to mention missing out on the Hotel Breakfast which is part of the hotel price!!
As you come to expect after a while, March is the month of St Patrick (who interestingly was never declared a saint you know)… the 17th of March being the Patron Saint of Ireland’s day… and being Irish, the Irish Embassy in Mumbai decided that it’d be a great idea to throw their party on the 14th… only the Irish… anyways, it was quite interesting… meeting the High Excellence (and his Spanish Mrs) and other dignitaries. I got my invite through Barry Clarke, the VP for Invest NI in India. Barry, originally from Newtownards is a right geezer, and apart from having a top name, a top lad.
So smoozing with the big wigs over for another day, I was off to Delhi to see our operation up there. I’ve been tasked with looking at their documentation and boy will that be a job. Anyways, the guys up in Delhi seem pretty decent sorts, but boy can the North Indian’s talk some rubbish. We decided it’d be a good idea to go out in the evening & got chatting to a Londoner (of Indian heritage) who was giving it large… he was in a private party with an MLA (yes an MLA), who if I’m honest, looked more like a Samuel L Jackson who’d let himself go a bit than a Member of the Legislative Assembly… and he had a body guard apparently… who when he gave me his business card, appeared to be a Taxi Company owner… oh & that’s not forgetting the “I bribed a UK copper with the £65K in the briefcase in the boot” story. Seriously.
Whilst in Delhi, Mr High Excellency decided to throw another party for St Patrick, this time he though it sensible to hold it on the day of the man himself… so they’re not all daft after all. This time it was a garden party, and the craic, as they say was mighty. From haranguing the Ambassador because of having to use Portaloos in his back yard, to asking why he had a Harp Larger Logo outside his front door… Again, there were some great people to meet, and although I’m not normally one for the old business card scene, I’ve amassed a stack of cards that I don’t know what to do with. The most important one being the geezer who works at the American Embassy… 4th of July party you say?? I’d love to tag along…
Anyways, I was up in Delhi and decided (with Rebecca & Krista) to take a jaunt to visit Agra & the Taj Mahal. So we got the car the five hour (or so) drive down and were kindly put up in the ITC hotel by Alex (he lives in an ITC so did the whole deal on his hotel points!!). We were in a two room suite, which was very nice if I do say so myself. Our hotel didn’t have a view of the Taj, but on the roof there was indeed a view…
We went straight to the Taj in reality, and spent a few hours basically looking at the biggest tomb in the world. That said, despite the pictures you see, and the preparation you do for seeing one of the best & biggest buildings in the world, nothing really quite prepares you for it. Simply put, it was beautiful… and all built over love. Silly boy. I of course completely forgot my camera (not to mention clothes, so my trip to Delhi was quite expensive) so the pictures below are all Krista’s work (thanks Krista!!).
On the work front, it’s been a crazy few weeks… the bank went through some change, and the share price reflected all of that (and in the middle of it I invested & doubled my money… hehe) and eventually ended up deciding that paying bonuses wasn’t for us this year… or potentially next year… and the year after that is doubtful… oh dear. That said, there’s probably never been better job security offshore… so all good.
I have also, now officially, started saving for a deposit… zoinks… I guess that means I’m on the cusp of growing up… but not just yet!!
In the flat, I’ve finally got the TV unit finished. It was bit of a struggle at the end to get it finished exactly how I wanted it, and unfortunately, I had to compromise a wee bit… but it’s looking well I think & perhaps growing on me.
I’m now looking at the next project, with the idea being that I’ll have the flat pretty much decorated by July, when I’ll have been here a year, and then I’ll get the painters in!! Who says I’m not domesticated?!
March has also been a month of events. Birthday’s for my brother Mark, who’s hit 30… I’m not sure how he’s taking that… I’ll find out next week when I’m home & reminding him of it daily… hehe. I got him some board games for his birthday. When we were kids, Mark never wanted to play board games with me. Now he’s half way to retirement age, he’s obviously yearning for his missed youth & was looking to play board games at Christmas. We didn’t really have the games i think he was looking for in the homeplace, so I thought I’d get him some new ones for his Birthday. March was also Mother’s day… so happy Mother’s day Mum!!
And finally, it has seen the departure from India of Paula & Rebecca (of Taj Mahal fame) back to the UK with work… it’s always interesting to see the emotions of someone leaving somewhere they like… goodness knows I’ve been through it myself once or twice… but I obviously wish them well on their journeys back.
Now, I wonder where I can travel next…