Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2018

Travel gear

For this trip, I splurged a little. I've never had full-size luggage of my own so I bought a Samsonite set at Costco. Of course, I'm colorblind so what I thought was a black set turned out to be purple. Sometimes it's nice to travel vibrantly.

My other big purchase was an Abisko travel shirt from Fjallraven. It's vented, with a mesh pouch in the chest for phones, passports, wallets, etc. The long sleeves can roll up and down, and be buttoned with built-in straps, so you can have more or less sun protection as needed. I'm wearing it for my flights along with a Costco microfiber t-shirt underneath, so I've been comfortable in both warmer and cooler temps.

For pants, I'm using Uniqlo's EZY jeans, which use sweatpant material to be stretchy and super comfy. They look more dressed-up than they feel, which is perfect for the airplane. I also packed some Uniqlo chino joggers, which are ideal for hot temperatures and office environments.

(Update: I've just w…

One and a half weeks down, three to go

Since I left Michigan on the 15th, I've taken three flights, survived food poisoning and a cold, and weathered brutal heat. I've also done a ton of work and met a ton of wonderful people.

The first portion of the trip is over. I'm more or less acclimated, and adjusted to the time change. Of course, we decided to switch to nights on Monday, so I'll have to adjust again, but for now I'm enjoying being a bit more settled.

Speaking of Monday, I'm going to be late to work. One of the team here is getting married, so we're all taking it in shifts to attend the wedding! I'm looking forward to the experience and sharing it with the team. I didn't bring anything wedding-appropriate on the trip, so I'm heading off to the mall today to pick up a blazer or something.

And as for clothes, I made a friend at work this week because of my shoes. Yes, my shoes. I'm not much of a shoe person, but I recently bought a couple pairs of Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81s.…

It's hot here

Today I decided to see some of Hyderabad. Being the adventurer that I am, I picked a walking route to the botanical gardens. "20 minutes? No problem!" I thought to myself. Even in 100°F heat, that should be plenty doable with enough water and sunscreen.Reader, it was not.After about 30 minutes hitting dead ends and nearly getting hit by tuktuks while turning redder that a tomato, I decided to try cooling off in a mall along the road. The security guards wanted to confiscate my camera, so I turned around and left. At that point I decided to call an Uber to take me back to the office.The Uber at least was prompt, clean, and fast. I felt awful using Uber, but for a foreigner who speaks no Hindi it's the best option by far.Takeaway: Hi-Tech City isn't a walkable part of Hyderabad except at grave risk of heat stroke or traffic accident, and I'm going to stick to taking an Uber anywhere I need to go.

I'm falling in love

So far I've been in Hyderabad for about 8 hours. Just enough time to shower, get something to eat, and start working with the team.

And yet, in that brief time, Hyderabad has bamboozled me.

Maybe it's the jet lag. Maybe it's the incredibly warm greetings. But realistically, we all know what it is.

It's the incredible amount of vegan food.

I'm a little spoiled on the Google campus, where everything is clearly labeled and inclusive food is a priority. But even the flight here had vegan entrees! I think all the American meat eaters would riot if an airline tried such an offering domestically.

I'm tired, I'm jetlagged, and it's ridiculously hot out, but even so: I'm h*ckin happy to be here.

Stuff I hadn't thought about

A lot of stuff hadn't occurred to me before I started planning for this trip. "Stuff" is a wonderful catchall word that can hold many different ideas, but my school teachers hated its vagueness. So, I'll elaborate a bit on what I mean by "stuff".
First, it's HOT in Hyderabad. I knew it was warm, but I didn't realize it was 105-degrees-Fahrenheit-hot. That's hot enough that I need to plan a specific wardrobe to account for it. My body will be under a lot of stress, and I need to help it out however I can.
Second, the air quality in Hyderabad is also pretty bad. Not Beijing bad, but still bad. I had time to place an order for N95 air filter masks that I can wear when outside, but it also affects what I'll do in my free time. For instance, as an asthmatic it's probably not a good idea to do anything too strenuous outside on bad air days, especially factoring in the heat.
Third, I need a prescription filled but the pharmacy won't fill i…

The adventure begins

I took a Lyft to DTW this afternoon and am sitting at my gate (D28) waiting for the plane to arrive and get cleaned. It's already 30 minutes delayed and we weren't due to board for another hour, so...who can really say where this day might go?


I handed off the cats before I left, and that was one of the biggest challenges of this trip. I won't see them for a whole month! Of course, Gus left me with a gift of her sacred fur before the hand-off, so at least I won't be cold (or allergy free). She knows just how to remind me that she loves me.
It's hard to believe I'm heading off already. The last time I went on a solo trip like this was in 2014, to Sydney. This will be...something different. I've packed everything I can think of, even got a last-minute refill of my prescription, and remembered to start my anti-malarial medication (which my doctor tells me should cause some psychadelic dreams). Nothing to do now but let the airlines and my driver get me to my a…

Gearing up for Hyderabad

In just a few short weeks, I'll be taking my longest ever trip out of the United States: 30 days in Hyderabad, India. I'll fly from Detroit to Charlotte to London to Hyderabad, where I'll be living in a corporate apartment for the duration of my stay. It's going to be quite the experience.

While I'll be working quite a bit, I'm planning to take my trusty Nikon D3300 (kit lens plus 35mm prime) and Google Pixel to document my adventures. I'll be traveling alone, though I'm not sure I'll ever really be alone in a country of billions. I'm looking forward to spending time with my colleagues and experiencing life in Hyderabad while I'm there.

For the curious, the rest of my bag will include:
Bose On-Ear Wireless HeadphonesAnker SoundBuds CurveGorillaPod DSLR tripodGoogle PixelBookTwo spare battery packsChargers, adapters for international outlets, and cables out the wazooAn assortment of pens, pencils, a Sakura Koi watercolor kit, notebooks, and a …