I have never missed my camera so much. I had no clue this last day of mine in Shanghai could be so interesting. The day started with me giving the presentation to Chiara and Angie about whatever I could learn in four weeks, over a cup of Starbucks coffee. They liked the ppt, or perhaps the expectation from four weeks was pretty low, so even an average work was accepted by them as decent enough to be shared with the rest of the marketing team.
I was off by 11 am and I wanted to do some shopping. i have been commanded to buy a ladies black jacket from either adidas or nike. And I tell you, there has been never anything more daring that I have done. Buying a dress for a lady, in her absence, and doing that all alone. I feel scared. I start looking for it. The number of options that I am exposed to confuses me more. After an hour of shuffling between the four-five malls of Xujiahui, I finally give up. This is just not my cup of tea. Sorry.
But then I spot another of those hugesly cluttered electronics market. It feels as if China is full of those Palika Bazar kind of markets where you get every possible electronic gadget in the world in a market that looks like a sabzi mandi. I started exlporing the option of buying an external hard disk. Have been wanting it for quite some time. A 160 GB was available for 600 rmb, when last checked. I got a 320 GB and the guy asked for 850. I smiled and said I will pay 700. He smiled and denied. I was somehow feeling confident that he will drop. He thinks and says 800. I stick at 700. He tells me he will give me the cover as well in 800. I say, with cover, I pay you 750 max. He comes down to 780. I stick at 750. He boils down to begging that his boss will fire him if he sells at less than 760. Though I don't believe him, I agree at 760 for 320 GB hard-disk with a cover. Not bad at all. Oh god !! buying a hard disk so much simpler than buying a ladies jacket.
Came back and started to pack. And then a thought struck me. May be I should treat Chiara and Angie with a dinner. Chiara left for Singapore this evening. And Angie will leave tomorrow morning. So I ask Angie if she would like to go dinner with me to an Indian restaurant. She agrees for an early dinner. We leave for Vedas at around 6, but she says she has just found out that Vedas is a little expensive and there's an Indian Kitchen a little farther which is more manageable. So we start walking in the windy cold evening.
Angie is a philipino. (So is Chiara, by the way). But the interesting part is that Angie has been quite exposed to China and knows a lot about China, even the language. She has been quite a good guide in suggesting me places to go in Shanghai. The Indian Kitchen is also her discovery. It is fun to be there. Chinese boys and girls dressed in Kurta-Pyjama say a Namaste at the door. Oh, the accent was so Chinese. I start off giving Angie a lot of gyaan about what's a chutney and what's tandoor and so on and so forth. The place has a menu quite dissimilar to any normal Indian restaurant. It has both Tandoori Chicken as well as Goan fish. There is Dosa as well as paneer pakoda. And most surprising there are a lot of beef dishes too. Well Angie lets me order and i order the abvious.
A tandoori chicken followed by yellow dal, aloo mutter (which is called potato peas masala) and a butter nan and a kashmiri nan. Angie struggles a bit with the tandoori chicken with the fork and knife and I suggest her to use hands, It turns out that it is as difficult for her as chopsticks were to me. And then she asks me, "How can you eat that with one hand". I am amused. Thankfully she is aware that in India, most people use right hand for eating food (for some weird reasons that she knows) We had our fill and it was great to see using her hands so brilliantly while having the dal with the nan. I so much wanted to click all this, but stupid of me to forget the camera back in the apartment.
The packing needs to be done. I had to iron my shirts, but it seems the press isn't working anymore, so I will have to resort to putting them in just like that. I have a long journey ahead. a five gour flight from Shanghai to Kuala Lumpur. Three hours wait at KL and then another five hour flight to Mumbai. Over night wait at Mumbai and the early morning flight to Delhi. And then a long drive to Jim Corbett park. Well, am coming home, very soon.