Sunday, February 20, 2011

India Part I

We now interrupt our regular posting schedule to bring you tales from India...

All little over two months ago, our family traveled to India.  JC was speaking at a math conference there, and E & I got the wonderful pleasure of traveling along.  I realize these posts are LONG overdue, so please forgive my tardiness.  In order to save time, I'm going to be posting pictures as well as family emails.  I hope you enjoy!


Today I finally have the chance to email.  We have been busy adjusting
and making the rounds, so this is the first moment I've had to sit
down and write an update.

Our flights were good and Emerson was an amazing little traveler.  The
take off and landing did not seem to bother her ears, and the Benadryl
worked well, which was an immense blessing.  Our flight from JFK to
Zurich was on a tiny squishy little plane and was quite uncomfortable.

Our time in Zurich was short lived; we were only there for about 45
minutes before we took off, so I was sad to not get anything from
Switzerland, but the Swiss air line was AMAZING!  It was beautifully
engineered, and the staff was beautiful, kind, and helpful.  They
presented Emerson with a little cloth book and stuffed Swiss airplane
(her new favorite) and even had a little baby seat belt that attached
to mine. It was fabulous.  They also had free wine, lots of movies and
video games, and delicious vanilla ice cream.  Needless to say it
provided some much needed respite after our first flight.

The Mumbai airport was a good introduction to the culture.  Once we
got through the airport we entered a pavilion and it was filled with
thousands of people just watching the new arrivals.  It was PACKED at
one am!  I felt like a total celebrity about to give a concert.  We
then got to the parking garage to get in our car and that was a

Traffic here is INSANE!  Lights, lanes, stop signs...all just
suggestions.  People drive fast, dart in and out, and honk the horn
incessantly.  The funny thing is no one is angry.  There is no
American road rage.  It's how they communicate with each other; like,
'Hey, my family of four is on this motorcycle, next to your 4 ton
freight truck, don't run us over.'  Haha.

Our room in Mumbai was beautiful, and have an amazing view.  We were
in the nice part of town, surrounded by gorgeous buildings, and had a
window with a ledge just the height for E to cruise around.

E and her first cow (bottom left)
 Across the street from our room there was an undeveloped park/jungle/shanty
town where people parked their cars and men peed.  E & I tried to keep
count, but there were just too many.  JC & I would just shout to each
other, we have another pee-er!

We also saw our first cow roaming around, which was quite amusing.  People would stop and stare at it and then move about their way.

The drive to Pune was a little intense.  It took 4 hours, our driver
got lost, and spoke no English.  Oh, and did I mention there were no
seat belts, so I had to hold Emerson in her sling and pray the car didn't fall down
the mountain?

 Bringing the car seat was a total bust.  As of now
we've only been in one vehicle with seat belts and none with the
middle seat belt for the car seat.  Oh well.

Today was the first day of the conference & Emerson & I joined JC at
the University.  She was quite the hit.  The professor mentioned her
in his opening speech and said how much he enjoyed hearing her cries.
The second speaker also mentioned E & how she's destined to be a great
mathematician, having gone to two conferences so early in her life.
One of the students holding Emerson
 The biggest shock has been how much people love her!  At the hotel
people stopped us to take pictures, but at the conference the students
would come up in groups of 20 wanting to hold her and take pictures of
her.  It was like E had her own paparazzi following.  It was slightly
overwhelming, but she didn't seem to mind in the slightest.

JC gave his talk today, which was earlier than expected.  Another
speaker was unable to attend and because JC was so well prepared they
bumped him up.  He did a beautiful job and it was very well received.
E & I enjoyed it, though we didn't understand anything after the
introduction.  Brought back the days of being his class, ah, memories! :)

JC's talk...please forgive the poor picture quality
(For those of you who don't know, I suppose that I should explain that I first met my husband when he was my TA in my college math course.  We didn't date then, but met again two years later, and have been together ever since). 

Our room in Pune
View from our room
More view
Our hotel is gated and heavily guarded, so we are very safe.  The food
is sooooo delicious.  I don't think I've eaten so well in my life!
Here everything is vegetarian and the meat items and labeled NON-VEG
and shunned by themselves on a different table.  It's nice to be the
norm.  We're still a little jet lagged, but we are doing well.  E has
adjusted very easily to the new schedule, though I do think she is
somewhat confused.

Tomorrow while JC is at the conference, E & I are going to go shopping
with Yvonne, the professor's wife.  I'm so excited!


  1. I happened upon your blog for the first time just this week. I was reading your post and called over my husband, also a math professor, to see if he understood what your husband's talk was about. His response? "Oh, that's the conference Paul(a co-worker) went to." It is, indeed, a small world. :)

  2. Paul Loomis? We love him! We hung out with him for most of the trip! What an unbelievably small world! Thanks for reading.

  3. Yep, that's him! It sounds like a wonderful trip and I look forward to seeing Part II. Thanks for sharing and for your lovely blog. :)