Welcome to my first attempt at a blog! I figured now is as good a time as any, having moved halfway around the world to Hubli. While I didn't know anyone on day one, I've since met many wonderful people, both those who have come from out of the country as I have as well as those who are native to India and have been teaching me a lot.

The plan is to update the blog somewhat regularly so that none of the posts get too lengthy (which is the case with the first several, as they were originally mass emails). We'll see how well I do at keeping up. Miss you guys!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

ringing in the new one

I've decided that writing up blogs two-three months following the event is an incredibly poor idea. That said, I'm still doing it for my personal records, just so that I have some sort of account.

As a result of the Mumbai attacks, tragic and with continually frustrating ramifications, my New Year’s comrades and I canceled our plans for a big night out in Bombay, trading it for what we hoped would be a relaxed beach night in smaller Mangalore, off the coast of west Karnataka.

Our hotel, the Gateway (part of the Taj chain) turned out to be at least 30 minutes from the beach, but proved to be just the locale for the relaxation we desperately needed, which led to a vacation lived in the hotel itself. You could have barely dragged us by our hair from that place, we were so enamored.

Every morning we woke to a sumptuous buffet breakfast, had the small fitness facility to our selves, spent the day lounging by the beautiful pool and then wrapped up with a delicious dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.

Unsure of what to do for NYE, we elected to attend the party at our hotel (and heck, why not? We loved everything else about it!) The event was poolside and jazzed up by a pool fountain, flame throwers and a live band.

We were wined and dined by the hotel staff, and Kate and I narrowly missed winning the prize for Best Dressed Couple who won a free stay in a Taj (sigh) , earning instead a gift certificate to a clothing store, which we promptly lost. After most of the guests had returned to their rooms, the DJ entered the scene, pumping what I can only guess was the most current Indian pop, and we spent the rest of the evening dancing on the deck with the hotel staff who’d been so kind to us throughout the week.

Because of my incredible love for food (not like I have to tell any of you that), one of the girls joked that they should give me a tour of the kitchen. Conveniently, the evening before we left, they offered us a peek, so we all dawned hairnets and went inside to drool over the chocolate "molten lava" cake and apple pie. Who says India doesn't have edible sweets?! :)

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