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16 August 2005

my finger is on the button

onsite, our hydrogen seals have been so gooned up. first they were out of tolerance, so we had to send them to saudi to get remachined. they sent them back but the seals got hung up in customs forever. we received the, back onsite while i was back home on R&R. the guys onsite received them, inspected them, and found them to be dinged up really bad from transportation, so the customer had one of his guys hand-carry the seals the the shop in hyderabad, india. i then had to make arrangements to pick it up and it looked like i was going to hyderabad myself to pick it up. it worked out well because my last bags were found and waiting at hyderabad on friday for me to come pick them up and clear customs (though the lufthansa people ASSURED me they could do it for me). so i decided i was going to go to hyderabad to get these. emma wanted to get away for a bit and her work is slow at the moment, and i realized that monday was indian independence day, so i asked the customer if TheGeneral could have saturday off for a long weekend, and they surprisingly agreed.

we arranged for 4 express train trip tickets from rajahmnundry to hyderabad for a little more than $100. it was like a 9 hour trip in the A/C sleeper car. interesting as it was my first train trip. here is looking down the hall from emma's bunk. the train left around 1:00AM saturday morning and arrived in hyderabad around 10:30 i think. emma and i (not my best picture ever) played a game called "pitch". i swear she made it up since the rules are always getting updated as we go along (though i did beat her at the first game on the train, god knows how considering the way i looked). granted, it's a fun game though. we played that for a little bit then went to quarters. our driver here in rajahmundry, nagaraj, hooked us up. he got our tickets last minute (rumor has it you can't buy tickets for the same day), and he called a guy in hyderabad that he knows to drive us around there. we went and pickedup our seals, then went to the airport to get my shite.

at the airport, it was easy enough to get my bags. my main concern was that they had already gone through them. i have some "adult" DVDs... no, it's pr0n, and apparently that is illegal here. i had my running shoes in case they came with the cuffs. they just asked me what i had in the cases, i said "DVDs, guitar, clothes". wrote em down, then he asked me to write "used" in front of all of them so he could put a lower estimate on them, so he was actually helping me from paying a duty. but the other guy... once my two clothes bags had gone through the X-ray, and the paper work was done, he looks at the X-ray screen and sees my bottle of glenlivett i brought back. he looks at me and says "liquor" while holding out his hand. dammit. i should've been prepared to grease some palms to stay out of jail but for liquor? man! either way i wasn't prepared, i had all my money bound together and it was all 500's (~$12). so i pull out my money clip and hand him a 500, but his hand remained. after a little hesitation, i dropped him another one and he was happy. another addition to my "i fuckin' hate india" list. so i grab my bags, another TA who came with grabbed my guitar, and made the observation that we could've gotten a tommy gun in since they never asked to X-ray the guitar case. i wish they had inspected it. i'd've seen this. gotta take that up with lufthansa. so after the seals were picked up, bribes given, and bags collected, we were on our way to the hotel.

the hotel is awesome. nice rooms, lovely big soft beds, with dumb log shaped pillows that are only for decoration, not too bad disco that is only open 4-hours a week (saturday nights 8-midnight), pool with a bar CLOSE BY but poolside would've been better. we went to the pool and swam and drank, cleaned up, got some dinner, went to the disco. for some reason, the disco has a rule allowing only couples on the dance floor (that is shite!), and no drinks or cigarettes on the dance floor (good idea, i've been burnt before). it was emma, the new mech TA, paul, and me. 2 guys, one girl, means we can't all dance together, but emma was nice enough to allow us to share her. she was also rebel enough to go barreling onto the dance floor, drink in one hand and cigarette in the other. the DJ didn't say anything while her and paul were dancing, but once they were off the floor he reminded the crowd. guessing he didn't wanna upset the white woman. she dragged me out to dance against my will. anyone who knows me, knows i don't dance unless COMPLETELY hammered and i wasn't yet, so i went relucatantly. took about one song and i was shaking my money-maker to beat the band, i don't know what got into me. i was dragging her out on the floor after a few more drinks. GOOGLY!!! that ain't me. after the disco closed, we all went up to paul's room and ordered a bunch of beers from room service. drank like madness (REDNESS!!!), 'twas a good time. i tihnk we left paul's room about 5 or 6AM, i think. basically, wash, rinspe, repeat for sunday without the disco, and instead of paul's room, we drank in emma's. we watched the NASCAR race at watkin's glen. i was trying to interest emma in it (she likes nerdy thing sometimes) so i'm going into the science and aero shite of it. i don't know, no wonder i'm single... but i think she said she is incrementally more interested in it now... 3% or something. anything is better than nothing. so i got to see that PUNK tony win 5 out of what... the last 7? jesus! damn you, joe gibbs racing. but i digress. more drinking was done into the wee hours. a good time was had. everyone woke up on monday to find that we couldn't get train tickets, they've been booked full from before the weekend, so we arranged for a driver. yuck! we were stuck in a toyota qualis, similar to a range rover, for 9 hours driving back. 1 up front, 2 in the middle row and 1 stuck in the back with all the bags. needless to say, it wasn't a very comfortable ride. lots of pot holes, random speedbumps on open highways, and these indians drive like crazy, doubly so at night. there more more than a few heart-stopping moments when we were trying to pass people and ended up playing chicken with oncoming traffic. and these weren't normal potholes, it was like moto-X whooptie-whoops just knocking you everywhere.

i think had some more good stories... if i come to them, i'll get 'em up here. i'm getting spoiled. that past 2 weekends have been some of the best in a while. now i gotta settle in for the reality of this place. we may have come to make some more roadtrips. oh yeah, and emma got some henna done on her hands and hair. look awesome as hell, i'll try to get some pictures from her to share here. i should get it done if i didn't think it would look super wrong on me. but i bought some henna at a local store, i might have to take up my amateur henna tattooing.

as much as i hate the customer, i should thank them for letting us have some time to boost morale. but i probably won't, don't want 'em to think i'm getting soft.


Anonymous mom said...

damn airlines - ruin a perfectly GOOD guitar. get even - i say. it had to be worth at least $1000.
(new math). glad you got your morale break.

7:19 PM, August 16, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:23 AM, August 26, 2005  

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