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My Second Hotel Room @ The Sigature Leaf, Gurgaon

I changed rooms at The Signature Leaf four days into my stay there. I did this because they asked me if I wouldn’t mind moving as they had a frequent guest who wanted the large window room (which is where I was). I didn’t mind and switched rooms; this one was better and it had a larger tv! I win.

Doors to the cupboard and the bathroom!

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Nice large and more firmer bed that the previous one. Lots of pillows!

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Chair and built in tables!

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A larger tv than the previous room which suited me perfectly!

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Superhero Comic Book Shows

Science fiction shows – the kind with spaceships, space travel, alien worlds and maybe even a few aliens – are so few at the moment. It has been that way since the turn of this current decade. We seem to have hit a low point in television history that we have so little in terms of actual scifi. Instead we got some shows that seem to be set in a futuristic setting but are more drama and even – ugh – teenage lore – than actual exploration and real scifi. And….really bad acting!

What I am grateful for is this recent trend of a large number of superhero & comic based shows that has somewhat replaced scifi as the genre with a rabid and loyal fanbase. And if you look at it, most superhero series has a bunch of scifi in it and you have a solid bit of “scientific mumbo jumbo” as some critics and viewers put it. There are usually scientists and scientific breakthroughs and it’s usually something to do with “sciencing” that they solve a huge problem. That’s putting the nerds and geeks at the forefront and they are saving the day. They also stand side by side with the superhero and battle the villains and powerful beings.

Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Daredevil, Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Jessica Jones – these are the ones that I’m watching and in some ways, they are filling the hole in my life where my fav scifi shows used to be. I still love and watch my fav scifi shows but all of them are done and ofcourse I will revisit them again and again. And look forward to new shows like last year’s Dark Matter & Killjoys which gave us fans a huge relief. I hope more scifi shows come up but till then I have the superhero genre.

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Conceal

Conceal your true nature. Your desires, your fears,  you inner thoughts and your tears.

Conceal your passion and your lust, your faith and your distrust.

Conceal what you really feel for fear of going against the trend

Because if you do not conceal, it’s society’s rules that you have to bend

Conceal all that jealousy, rage and despair and bluster

That seemingly silly people make much more than you can ever muster

That asshole who everyone hates

Just took the most beautiful girl on a date

But keep everything inside and keep true feelings bottled

Or you it’s life’s expectations that you will have throttled!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Food Review #77 : Afghani Chicken

While I was in Gurgaon and staying in The Signature Leaf hotel, I ordered from room service an Aghani Chicken. It’s a tandoori or grilled chicken in a mix of yogurt and spices and served mixed with onions. One of my now favourite ways to eat chicken.

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Pics don’t do justice to how awesome this dish is. It isn’t spicy at all but the chicken was delicious.

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Enjoy the video.

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Back To The 9 Hour Grind

Back at the office. First day back, is always bad after you have been away for so many days. Granted I was in Gurgaon for work but sitting in a nice room and undergoing training, which was a fun training by the way, but a lot more relaxed. Plus it wasn’t my own office and I had no responsibilities other than attending the session. That was easy. Yesterday however getting back to my office and opening up my system and downloading the tons of emails meant a headache was a coming.

Let me tell you this, I reached my seat by 4:25 pm and switched it on and the emails stopped flowing in only by 7:45 pm! Can you dig that? All that email! Granted a whole lot of them were junk (I am an admin for a tool that creates ids for our process and hence I get a shit ton of mail from that vendor that is irrelevant to my location and I just hit delete) and I can easily dispose of them. But the rest was time consuming. I took a dinner break at 8:45 pm and came back for more. At 11:30 pm till midnight our team had a quick session and discussion followed by more work and by 1 am I was done so I took a break and got a cold milk drink break. I was also getting really sleepy.

I got my cab by 2am and reached home 30 minutes later. I was falling asleep in the cab, having difficulty in keeping my eyes open and fell asleep as soon as I reached my room and stripped my clothes off and lie on the bed. Deep sleep with no dream to confuse me this morning. I woke up almost 7 hours later and am now on coffee mode.

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Update Vlog & Snack

A day 3 update vlog that I filmed on the 15th of March and had planned to upload the same day – if only the laptop could get connected to the wifi in the hotel. After I came back to the hotel on that Tuesday I shot this vlog to give you guys an update.

Also wanted to share with you a quick meal I had but this was on the 13th of March. Having just had half a sandwich and water for lunch, I was feeling hungry by 5pm and we ordered some food. I had the two egg omelet and a tava roti.

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Bedside Table & Drawer

Write about the things in your bedside table’s drawer, yeah, those things.

Well I’m gonna use my table on the left side of my bed because I don’t have a proper bedside table or a drawer but there is this computer desk / place to keep a bunch of my stuff. So I shall focus on the non computer related stuff to answer this blog prompt.

I have some pens, some markers, my finger rings, an old phone and a bunch of business cards. I have an old wallet, which still has some old bills, spare batteries for my USB mouse, a few blank dvds and the box to my current phone. I also have my previous phone, a BlackBerry, a USB cable, a spare USB mouse or two and a box that had one of my rings came in.

That’s about it.

Prompt from the Idea Bank

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Food Review #76

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On my first night in Gurgaon, I had a Delhi style chicken biryani at The Signature Leaf and washed it down with a beer. The biryani is different from what I am used to, different spices and omelets instead of hard boiled eggs. But it was really good.

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Batman vs Superman : Dawn Of Justice

You ever build a movie up in your mind so much that when you finally see it, it can never ever live up to the hype? I just did watch one such movie. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a 2016 3D American fantasy superhero film featuring the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is a follow-up to 2013’s Man of Steel and the second installment in the DC Extended Universe. The film is directed by Zack Snyder, with a screenplay written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, and stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the first live-action film to feature both Batman and Superman, as well as the first theatrical film to feature live-action portrayals of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash. In the film, criminal genius Lex Luthor manipulates Batman into preemptively battling Superman.

Ok, so I went to the Cinepolis this afternoon after having booked an executive seat last night. I hadn’t known (or perhaps forgot) that this movie wals in 3D and I’m not really a fan of 3D but it was ok here. Now onto the film; this is a mess of a film to be honest. Let’s get one thing outta the way – the special effects and CGI is awesome. No doubt there, it’s spectacular. Except for some scenes where it kinda felt silly it was pretty good. But the story isn’t very good. So Bruce Wayne / Batman is pissed off at Superman because during the fight he had with General Zod several buildings were destroyed and a lot of people died including some of Wayne Industries employees who were close to Bruce. A little girl that is orphaned after her mom died in one of the destroyed buildings only reinforces to Bruce that Superman is bad for humanity. Ofcourse while Batman kills a bunch of baddies, causes chaos on the streets in his tank of a vehicle and destroys a bunch of real estate later, he conveniently does not relate this to his hatred of the Sup.

Superman, not the one I’ve grown up with and loved in the 4 movies that Christopher Reeves played him in (ok, first three) is a moody and dour personality dude who is either loved or feared by the general public. But why does Lex Luthor (portrayed like a maniacal nutjob by Jesse Eissenberg) hate Superman so much? He setsup several incidents to portray the universe’s most famous Kryptonian in a bad light including an attack in the middle east desert where several innocents were killed plus also masterminds a bombing that kills dozens of people, including Finch. The public blames the bombing on Superman, who goes into self-imposed exile. Luthor initial convinces Senator June Finch to help him recover kryptonite from Zod’s failed terraforming attempt from the Indian Ocean. Finch later stonewalls Lex’s efforts to use Zod’s DNA and the Kryptonian scout ship recovered from the battle to create a biological weapon. Bruce infiltrates a fundraiser promoted by Luthor to retrieve data from LexCorp’s mainframe, but his drive is stolen by mysterious antiques dealer Diana Prince, who learns that Luthor has files on herself, as well as individuals with superhuman speed (Flash), a cybernetic body (Cyborg), and a man that lives underwater (Aquaman).

Wayne learns not only of Luthor’s experiments with kryptonite, but also his ongoing investigation about metahumans including Prince herself, who is an immortal warrior. Batman attempts to retrieve Luthor’s kryptonite, but is intercepted by Superman, who orders him to cease his activities. Batman retrieves the kryptonite and prepares to launch a strike against Superman; building a powerful exoskeleton and kryptonite-powered arsenal. With Batman now having the kryptonite, Luthor activates the Genesis Chamber aboard the scout ship and splices his own DNA and Zod’s. Luthor endangers Superman’s love interest Lois Lane to lure him to LexCorp Tower, where he reveals that he has been aware of Superman’s secrets for some time. Lex blackmails Superman into confronting Batman by holding his adoptive mother Martha hostage in a warehouse. Sup and a bulked up Batman duke it out and the Bat nearly kills Superman with a kryptonite spear. Superman pleads for Batman to “save Martha”, which was also the latter’s late mother’s name, causing him to come to his senses and realize Superman is not a threat! What? So if his “enemy”‘s mother has the same name as his own, suddenly Batman decides that Superman is his newest BFF? How stupid!

Batman leaves to rescue Martha while Superman confronts Luthor, who unleashes a monstrous artificially bred creature (Doomsday) made with Kryptonian technology on the crashed ship. Superman and Batman join forces to fight him and are aided by an arriving Prince in her Amazonian attire, but are outmatched due to the creature’s ability to absorb and redirect energy. Realizing that their shared Kryptonian DNA results in shared vulnerabilities, Superman retrieves the kryptonite spear and sacrifices himself to impale the creature with it, while the creature stabs Superman with his bone protrusions, seemingly killing him. As the movie ends, there is a memorial for Superman in Metropolis using an empty casket and a military burial. In Kansas Wayne, Lane, Martha, and Prince attend a private ceremony in Smallville. Martha passes an envelope to Lois, which contains an engagement ring from Clark to Lois. After the funeral, Wayne reveals to Prince that he plans to form a team (Justice League) from Luthor’s file subjects to protect the world in Superman’s absence. Later, a faint heartbeat begins echoing from Superman’s grave and the dirt around it begins to levitate. Meaning, he will rise again!

Batman also warns Lex, who is now shaved bald and in prison that he will be watching him but Lex seems to be on the verge of a mental breakdown. The whole Batman vs Superman thing seems so superficial and how they finally team up is really dumb! Gal Gadot looks superb as Wonder Woman and I would love to see more of her in this role. She is also rather gorgeous. Ben Affleck, despite misgivings and that dumb explanations, does really well as an older Batman/Bruce Wayne (he is 43 and the oldest actor to play the Bat). The film is told in bits and pieces and the whole storyline is not very palatable. I think they could have come up with better and more sensible way to patch things up between the two main superheroes. The first half is rather dull and boring in parts while the second is a boombastic, CGI & effects laden, action packed fun ride. The film will probably make big bucks. I give it a 7 outta 10!

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Another Weird Little Dream

Another one of those dreams that I’ve had that make me feel so weird and will stay with me for a long, long time. In this dream I had last night/early today morning, I was somehow still living in my old home in Thrikkakara although the place did not look much like the small suburban town I know and love. But still similar somehow. Anyway, I was on an evening walk and looking to buy batteries for my USB mouse. Which is something really weird to go dreaming about, right? Anyway, I went to a couple of stores but couldn’t find the right type (AA) and was even appalled at the rudeness of some of the shopkeepers in some stores, which aren’t ones that I recognize.

After a while I realized that I had walked quite a bit and was in an unfamiliar section of the town. I stopped at one place and the guy, a white guy (again, unusual) told me that although he didn’t have any, the large store next to him run by a family, would surely have some. So I went out and opened the door and was greeted by one of the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. She had brown hair, fair skin, was the right mix of Indian and Caucasian looks and she had the loveliest smile. I was mesmerized and it took me a good 5 minutes before I could collect my brain and ask her for the item I wanted. She had some and got me the batteries and we chatted for a bit. I was in awe of her beauty but a short conversation later, realized that she was atleast 12-14 years younger than me and it wasn’t really appropriate for me to start falling for her.

However she seemed to be very friendly and offered to walk me back to my place as I wasn’t familiar with the area and seemed lost. Sure, I would love that! We walked by in the evening moonlight and talked and I found myself wishing that the evening would never end. However I was a gentleman and once we got back, introduced her to my cousin sister and we took her car and drove the young lady back home as it was getting a quite dark and there was chance of rain. As I walked her to her door, I failed to notice the many eyes upon us as we still talked for a while at her doorstep. I didn’t want to say goodbye to her but I did. And then my cousin sister and I went back home. The next day it was my cousin’s wedding and I went to a florist shop in the town to buy some and there the older man who owns the store and who I have spoken to a few times before, and who lived in the same neighbourhood as the young lady I met last night. And he spoke to me about this girl, insinuating that I had designs on her.

The way he was fake smiling and talking to me about my evening was as if I took the young girl on a date. The same sentiments was shared by the middle aged women from the next store and I felt like I was being put on the stand, trying to defend my actions! And I didn’t do anything wrong! So, I said that she was the one who offered to show me the way back to my home and as a thanks, I had my cousin drive her back home as there was quite a distance and it was late. Yes I spoke to her for a while but it was in public, just outside her home as well. I also said that, despite anything else, I did realize that she was only 25 or 27 and as a gentleman there was no way that I would try to do something. I was angry and really riled up and gave a police complaint against the two folks (just so that things wouldn’t turn back on me) and because my family told me to. The last part I remember is going with the cops to the two stores (but the owners had decided to leave there as they knew that I was giving a complaint) and then I woke up.

Weird, why the heck would I dream of something like that?

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Everton 0 Arsenal 2

Arsenal responded to their exits from both the Champions League and FA Cup with a comfortable victory over Everton at Goodison Park. Danny Welbeck opened the scoring on seven minutes, put through by Alexis Sanchez to round Joel Robles and slot home for his fourth of the season. On 42 minutes, teenager Alex Iwobi marked his maiden Premier League start with a first goal for the club. The result leaves the Gunners 11 points behind leaders Leicester City. It was a first win in four league matches for third-placed Arsenal, who dominated the game. In contrast, Everton failed to test their opponents properly and had just two shots on target as their dreadful home form – now four defeats in five in the league – continued.

Arsenal began the week with a 2-1 home defeat by Watford in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup being knocked out of the FA Cup. Then on Wednesday they lost 3-1 to Barcelona at the Nou Camp as they were knocked out of the Champions League. With only the league to focus on, this looked like a must-win match for the Gunners if they were to stay in touch with Leicester. There are also not yet assured of a Champions League place with fifth-placed West Ham only three points behind before kick-off. In the event, they responded to last week’s disappointments with a positive performance and earned a first league win since beating Leicester 2-1 on 14 February. It was a dream full league debut by Iwobi, the 19-year-old Nigeria midfielder.

He has come through the ranks at Arsenal’s Hale End academy and made his first-team debut in October’s 3-0 League Cup defeat by Sheffield Wednesday and signed a new contract last year. Iwobi was born in Lagos but played for England’s youth teams before deciding to represent Nigeria and has won two caps for the Super Eagles. He boasts footballing pedigree as his uncle is former Bolton and Nigeria legend Jay-Jay Okocha. Iwobi was brimming with confidence in attack and had the most shots of any of his team-mates. He linked well with Welbeck and showed composure and strength to hold off the challenge of Ramiro Funes Mori before scoring his goal.

Some facts – Arsenal enjoyed only their third victory in their past 10 away Premier League games (drawn four, lost three). Welbeck has now scored four Premier League goals against Everton, his joint-best return against any side (along with Aston Villa). Arsenal enjoyed only their third victory in their past 10 away Premier League games (drawn four, lost three). Welbeck has now scored four Premier League goals against Everton, his joint-best return against any side (along with Aston Villa).

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My First Room At The Signature Leaf Hotel @ Gurgaon

So in pics and in video form, here is a look at my hotel room in Gurgaon at the Signature Leaf. It was a small hotel, mostly like a lather large house style but constructed to be a hotel. It has 3 floors and construction was going on for the 4th floor. Which left my two colleagues a bit peeved as there was a lot of noise in their rooms on the 2nd floor. I was on the ground floor and hence heard very little of it.

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Rather large bed on which I only would sleep on one side. The bed was not comfortable for me as it was rather soft and you can’t lie on your side without sinking feelings. I am glad that I moved in a few days.

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It had a small desk which could open up and you could use it as a work table. I rarely used it as I couldn’t get the wifi connected on my laptop. Another smaller desk just below the tv served as my dinner table. It also had the bottles of water and glasses.

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Bathroom was fine. Clean and they had a nice shower but the glass partition was so close to the shower head. Made it difficult to stretch the arms wide when soaping. They had the hot water geezer hidden in this room so the first morning I freezed in ice cold water as I couldn’t see the tiny spots of red and green for the hot and cold water as I can’t that well without my glasses.

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That’s the first meal I had there, an omelet with tava roti, as I had only had half a sandwich and water at lunch. Here is a room tour video.

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So Glad To Be Home

Wow, it feels so good to be back home and to sleep in my own bed again. That was one thing I missed at the hotel in Gurgaon. I am used to a harder or more firmer bed and to have to sleep in beds that sink in wasn’t the best for my sleep. Probably one reason why I woke up from my sleep quite so often during the course of the nights.

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Yesterday too I woke up early and went back to smaller bouts of sleep until 7:30 am when I finally woke up and brushed my teeth and went to the loo. I ordered a black coffee and toast with the minimal butter that the cheapskates at the hotel I stayed it would put on it. Funny thing is, in the first room that I stayed in, the room service menu says “bread toast with butter and jam” but they don’t have any jam. The room I moved in too a couple of days later had the recent version of the menu which says only butter. Yet these guys use so little of it. I bet they get buy on a stick of butter for a 100 orders of toast which is 4 slices of bread each.

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After that I had to use the bathroom in the next room, the one I was previously in, as I wasn’t getting much water in my room’s bathroom. I took a shave and a quick shower and finished the last of my packing, which was mainly my toiletries, a bath towel and the shirt, lungi and underwear I was wearing and then changed into my clothes to wear for the plane trip back to Cochin. My colleague came down and had her breakfast and then went to finish her packing. The taxi cab that our company had booked for us arrived at 10:30 am and having already paid off our bills the previous evening, we gave a little money to the cook and the guy at the front desk (it’s not a big hotel) and then took the cab to the Delhi airport.

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Due to it being a holiday for Holi the streets were almost empty and we had a quick ride to the airport. It was nice to see the city in this light. Such big streets and large buildings with open spaces here and there. We arrived early and checked our luggage and then went to find seats in the lounge area. After a quick coffee and a visit to the loo we waited till 12:45 pm and then went to stand in que for the coach that took us to our plane. We flew back in an IndiGo fligh and although I like the airlines, and the hot Punjabi stewardesses, I feel that SpiceJet has better seating and leg room which makes for a comfortable ride. We reached by 4:45 pm and by 5:15 pm, after getting my colleague into her cab, I took a cab to my apartment.

Cochin is so hot and humid now and with forecasts of thunderstorms and rain. It was a sweaty night back home and in this regard I will miss the Gurgaon weather. I hope to be able to visit the place again some time in the near future.

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RIP Johan Cryuff

Netherlands footballing great Johan Cruyff has died of cancer aged 68, his official website has announced. Cruyff, who made his name as a forward with Ajax and Barcelona, won the Ballon d’Or three times. He won three consecutive European Cups with Ajax and went on to manage Barcelona to their first European Cup win in 1992. Cruyff helped his country reach the World Cup final in 1974, where they lost to West Germany. In February, Cruyff said he felt he was “2-0 up in a match” against lung cancer and he was “sure I will end up winning”. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Cruyff had double heart bypass surgery in 1991. Barcelona won four consecutive La Liga titles from 1990-91 to 1993-94 under his guidance.

As a player he won the Ballon d’Or three times, in 1971, 1973 and 1974. Cruyff led the Netherlands to the final of the 1974 FIFA World Cup and received the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. At club level, Cruyff started his career at Ajax where he won eight Eredivisie titles and three European Cups. In 1973 he moved to FC Barcelona for a world record transfer fee, winning La Liga in his first season and was named European Footballer of the Year. After retiring from playing in 1984, Cruyff became highly successful as manager of Ajax and later FC Barcelona; he remained an influential advisor to both clubs. His son Jordi also played football professionally. In 1999, Cruyff was voted European Player of the Century in an election held by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics, and came second behind Pelé in their World Player of the Century poll. He came third in a vote organised by the French magazine France Football consulting their former Ballon d’Or winners to elect their Football Player of the Century. He was chosen on the World Team of the 20th Century in 1998, the FIFA World Cup Dream Team in 2002, and in 2004 was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players.

Cruyff was often known as a strongly family-oriented man. On 2 December 1968, Cruyff married Danny Coster. He and Danny have three children together: Chantal (16 November 1970), Susila (27 January 1972), and Jordi (9 February 1974). The family has lived in Barcelona since 1973, with a six-year interruption from December 1981 to January 1988 when they lived in Vinkeveen, Netherlands. Cruyff was non-religious, having famously quipped: “In Spain all 22 players make the sign of the cross before a game, if it worked every game would be a tie”.

We will miss you tremendously.

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Final Full Day In Gurgaon

I’ve finally reached the last full day here   in Gurgaon and after an eay finish to our day at the training venue, I am back in my hotel room lying in bed watching cable. It’s just 3pm and I have enough time to go out for a bit of shopping and maybe a dinner in a nice place. But I am ill as I have come down with a case of Delhi Belly.

It started late on Monday night and I have been taking some medicine to let me go on without much of a problem at the office. But last night after a light dinner of a sandwich bought at the cafeteria of the office we had the training in, I started feeling really bad. I have been to the loo several times and this morning I visted the nurse at the office building’s medical room and got immodium and an antibioric for my problems.

I am drained and tired and trying to drink as much water as I can to avoid getting dehydrated. I ate some white rice with a veg curry for lunch and some lime juice to settle my stomach. I wish I could go out this evening but it might be advisable to stay in and take it easy. Later we will settle our bills at the hotel front desk and have a little dinner before going to bed. Our flight back to Cochin is at 1:30 pm so we plan to leave by 10 to avoid the holiday / festival crowd. I cannot wait to get home now.

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Day 5 In Gurgaon

Well I still have a problem with getting connected to the wifi on my computer. And there is just so much I can do without it. I really miss using the laptop and while I do love my phone, the options on it will be limited when compared to a pc. Uploading videos and photos are the ones that I am struggling with the most.

What else has been going on?   after tomorrow I do have 2 days tk explore something of the city. I was going to go out today as we had a shorter work day having left the training venue at 4:30 pm. But in my was back I got down at the entrance of the hotel and went to Discovery Wines, which is just a stone throws away from this hotel. So I went in and found that they had some imported stuff and so I bought three – Amstel light, Stella Artois and Erdinger Weissbeer.

So tonight its some Cornitos Nacho crips and chicken tikka and these three beer.  

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Update From Gurgaon

So hey folks, its been a while hasn’t it? I haven’t been able to blog as usual as I have a problem with the laptop. It seems that the driver for the wifi option hasn’t been installed on it and hence although the wifi works fine in the hotel, I can’t connect to it using my computer. But it works fine on my Android.

Also yesterday they had a problem with the wifi yesterday and we were only getting minimal speeds, enough to check Whatsapp and messages in Facebook but that’s all. So what has been happening? Well, we have completed 3 days of the 8 day training. Its been going really well and we are having a lot of fun. And learning a lot too. Tomorrow is a shortened day at work and I think we should leave early from the training venue, atleast by 4pm. That will give us a bit of spare time to get to a mall do a bit of shopping and maybe get a bite to eat outside.

So far I have been getting up by 6am and shaving and showering and getting ready by 8am. We have coffee and breakfast and hail an Uber or Ola cab and get to the venue which is just 10-15 mins away and we attend the training till 6pm. As we don’t know the area well we usually hail another Uber and come straight back to the hotel. We have coffee and maybe a snack and the watch tv in our respective rooms. By 8:30pm I order room service and watch a movie or something and fall asleep by 11pm.

But tomorrow we might explore a little bit. Oh yeah and I changed rooms this evening as the staff asked me if I didn’t mind giving up my window facing room for one that didn’t have one, as they had a guest arriving who insisted on having one. I was ok with it and quickly moved.