Selfies, Snakes and Sunday Strolls

Hey Guys! ♥

This was my third week in Pune, and slowly but steadily our workload has been picking up. We’ve all been getting really intensive training sessions, and at least for my team (which is Project Management Journals) they’ll probably keep running for a few more weeks. Since my shift is from 10:30 AM to 7:15 PM, I also don’t have much time to really explore the city during the week, so for now all of the adventuring through Pune is limited to the weekends for me. Last Saturday, Shweta and Sunayana, two of our Indian co-workers, invited us for lunch at Ferguson College Road (FC Road). We ate at Vaishali, which is apparently one of the most famous restaurants in Pune, and since you can’t book tables there in advance you usually have to wait for quite some time before you are seated. We were really lucky though and got a table right away, but let me tell you, after having eaten there I’d happily wait for a table, too 🙂 Our colleagues picked out some dishes for us to try, like Iglis (small puffy rice dough things) with Sambal, coconut Chutney, Vadas (fried vegetable donut-like things) and my favorite of them all, the Masala Dosa. Afterwards, we walked through FC Road together, passing the typically Indian street vendors and having some Paan for dessert. Paan is made out of betel leaves filled with fruits and spices, and because of those betel leaves it does have some minor side effects like having a numb tongue 😉 Our colleagues also told us that they eat it very rarely since it’s very addictive, which probably means I’ll come back to Germany an addict 😀

Selfie Time!
Selfie Time! (c) Thomas Pöttgen
Hongkong Lane at FC Road
Hongkong Lane at FC Road

The next day, me and two of my flatmates decided to go to the Snake Park Zoo. It’s called Snake Park because – surprise! – they have a lot of snakes there. Unfortunately I couldn’t get any good pictures of those, so I’ll leave you with some of the pics I took of the other animals there. Luckily for the animals but unfortunately for us, the individual compounds were really big, with lots of trees and bushes providing shade during the hottest hours of the day, but that also made it really difficult to snap good pictures.

cuddling crocodiles!
cuddling crocodiles!
More Selfie Time!
More Selfie Time!
Extinction Graveyard
Extinction Graveyard
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Elephant! ❤
You can see a tiger if you squint!
You can see a tiger if you squint!

This Saturday, we decided to explore the famous Aga Khan Palace in Kalyani Nagar. Originally built by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan in 1892, mostly to create jobs for the many unemployed people living in Pune, it became one of the most significant monuments in recent Indian history when Mahatma Ghandi, his wife, and his secretary were interned there from August 1942 to May 1944. Both Ghandi’s wife and his secretary also died there during that time, which is why the Palace grounds also includes their samadhis, or graves. A part of Ghandis ashes are also buried there. The surrounding Palace gardens are a popular picnic spot, frequented by many Indian couples and families. We even ran into a family trying to have professional photos of their toddler taken there, but as soon as he spotted us goras, his attention was solely directed at us rather than the camera 😉
We were also lucky that apparently one of Ghandi’s great-nieces was visiting the Memorial Society located at the Aga Khan Palace, and we accidentally stumbled into a bharatanatyam performance given for that occasion. If we’re lucky and everything pans out, we might be able to do a bharatanatyam course too, and get some first hand insights into this fascinating dance style.

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Indian schoolchildren learning Hindi just like we do!
Indian schoolchildren learning Hindi just like we do!

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This really was a very selfie-heavy week I guess
This really was a very selfie-heavy week I guess
Kolam, a traditional Indian chalk painting, at the Aga Khan Palace
Rangoli, a traditional Indian chalk painting, at the Aga Khan Palace
This is the last selfie for today I swear
This is the last selfie for today I swear
Mahatma Ghandi's Memorial
Mahatma Ghandi’s Memorial

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On Sunday, we finally had our long-awaited brunch with Win Sutanto and some German colleagues from Springer at the Novotel. Win is the global director of typesetting at Springer, but even more importantly (at least for us interns), he is also the official mentor of the CCI program and was involved in the selection process in Berlin, were we all fell a little bit in love with him ;D So we were all very eager to meet him again, but it was also really interesting to get to know some more colleagues from the German Springer offices and get to hear their perspective on the German-Indian workflow and cooperation. And last but not least, the food was absolutely amazing, ranging from Indian and Chinese to European, and it was really, really nice to finally have some good blue cheese again 😀

And that’s it for this week!

See you! ✿✿✿

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