Blogs from Pune, Maharashtra, India, Asia


Asia » India » Maharashtra » Pune February 10th 2014

The best thing about the Palolem beach is that they are not allowed to cut down any trees especially coconut trees. You might even have a tree trunk going right through your bedroom. This also means there is a dense forest of trees right down to the water. I have to say the tidal line is also incredibly clean and one I find remarkable as the rest of the beach, town and country is completely different where no one thinks twice about dropping their rubbish where they are. It might all change when the monsoon comes and all the rubbish from the fishing boats comes floating in and all the rubbish on the land gets washed into the sea. As I went to the shop with Annalaxmi she peeled open an ice-cream for her daughter and ... read more
Annalaxmis impecably clean house
Dogs playing on beach
Russian tourists

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Pune » Bhimashankar January 13th 2014

Arrived in Pune after a going away party in Chennai. I missed them so much. I think it has taken me quite a while to warm up to Pune because I was so sad about leaving Chennai. I had friends there, a family if you will. All the staff, and all the US members... we had a happy banter. Arrived in Pune and everything was gone. No more friends, no huge family dinners every night like before. The staff at this new hotel in Pune is so large that "making friends" like I did with Pavan and Sunil is next to impossible. It took me a while to feel comfortable walking around alone, usually James or Chelsea would walk with me in Chennai. Today I tried my best to break the biases I have against Pune. ... read more
Zara and Mama
Carlos y Still Matt

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Pune November 1st 2013

So I went to India. Again. I didn’t mean to. It just kind of, happened. Quite spontaneously a friend of mine mentioned that he was going home to Pune, for Diwali festivities and asked whether I would like to join (I assumed it was a rhetorical question and my flight was booked a few days later). Whilst this may have been my first trip to the ‘motherland’ in many ways it was my first. It was the first time that I loved it instantly and ongoingly and let myself be taken by its breathtaking beauty, it’s the first time I stayed with an Indian family and travelled with a local, it’s the first time I allowed myself to indulge in guilt free feasting all fortnight, it’s the first time I engaged my linguistic capabilities to learn ... read more

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Pune February 11th 2013

Maharashtra Satara It was a long but not too eventful drive (given driving styles and conditions in India) to Satara, other than a good old fashioned Maharashtran grilling from the police at one of 3 check points we passed - S mainly and C as she was driving. We assume it’s because they saw a woman driving and a Gori at that - opportunity knocks for a lovely bribe?! No such luck as we have all the documents in order. The roads were not bad especially the main bit from about midway onwards (after the windy bits across the Ghats) where we were on dual carriageways all the way. What is a bit bonkers are the lorries who tend to treat the outside lane as the slow lane so all cars have to weave ... read more
At Ajanta Caves
Ajanta Temple
All this carved out of a hillside - Ellora

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Pune » Koreagon Park June 9th 2012

Monday On Monday I went to my first slum community. I have no sense of direction in this city beyond my mental image of google maps so I have no idea where it was. I am still really hung up on sticking out like a sore white chick thumb and added to advice not to stare I can't report too much on what the place looked like. We entered by scooter off one of the main roads and straight away you are on dusty lanes about 3-5 metres wide. These are full of women preparing stuff outside their shacks, kids in various states of dress, other vehicles and your standard helping of scruffy dogs. I met a group of teenage boys who are attending a class once a week on gender equality. It was only then ... read more


Asia » India » Maharashtra » Pune » Koreagon Park June 9th 2012

Today I was going to go to Agakahn Palace where the British held Gandhi for awhile. Instead I went shopping, which I think is an equally good cultural experience! My first destination was the Koregaon Park Plaza to buy a backpack to carry my laptop in more easily. Turns out this is a VERY swanky mall and hardly anyone was in it. Tommy Hilfiger, Next, Swarovski, Accessorize, Levis and various other Western brands were selling at Western prices. Went to the Spar Hypermarket (yes, there are BIG versions here) and picked up a bag for 500 INR (the exhange rate is rougly £1:85 INR), some lychees, a mango and a papaya for another 200 (which is pretty pricey). Had a coffee then headed out to MG Road with a friend. Much more "normal" area where locals ... read more

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Pune » Bhimashankar June 2nd 2012

Disclaimer: I haven't slept for more than 2 broken up hours in the last 30 so the below is unlikely to make sense. Today I broke several rules that are intended to make sure you don't get diarrohea. 1. Do not eat salad unless you know its been washed in clean water 2. Do not have any drink with ice cubes in it Whilst zonked out in a cab after a 9 hour flight and 2 hours of driving (I use the term loosely), my driver pulled into a drive-through Maccy D's and offered to buy me some food. I tried to politely refuse. The poor guy was clearly concerned that I hadn't eaten anything yet, I held fast on the food but eventually gave in to a coke. I just didn't have the energy to ... read more

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Pune » Bhimashankar June 2nd 2012

So its 03:22 here, making it around 11pm back home. I woke up at 7am on the 1st, which means I am just about to sleep without doing a nodding dog impression for the first time in 40 hours. How I managed to go out clubbing from 9pm I don't know. Have just got back after 6 1/2 hours out with a bunch of people and had a great time. Went to one bar, sat outside and spent about £10 on a cocktail and a load of food. The drinks were really cheap there - around £2.50 for my cocktail, but they do charge you £5 cover to get in. Food was delicious - quite spicy but haven't had any "problems" yet. It's a warm night but with a little bit of a breeze. We then ... read more

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Pune May 25th 2012

Sorry it has taken so long to make our first in country entry, we have limited internet and I'm typing this on a phone- which isn't quick or fun at all. We had a rough start to say the least, coming out of chicago we were delayed an hour and a half which made us miss our connecting flight in london...we then had to spend 13 hours in the london airport which is something I wouldn't even wish on my worst airport sucks. After hours of sleeping on benches and being looked at funny we finally headed to delhi- we actually needed to be in mumbai. Landing in delhi we knew the true test would be if our bags somehow made it there too. Justin found his bag right away so we had hope, that ... read more

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Pune » Bhimashankar May 15th 2012

The journey of human race is the saga of their strong survival against the most difficult situations & living environments. Their inherent strength in conquering odds of the nature lies in their in the spirit of life in extreme adverse geographical &climatic conditions around the coldest heights of mountain surrounded with the deepest forest where their lives & livings are hard to believe. They have their own ways of protecting themselves from the adverse weather conditions, arranging & procuring their food &feeding directly from the available natural stuff & their zest & zeal to establish themselves the fittest to survive in the available conditions. Coming soon with full Videos... read more

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