Sunday, 25 September 2011

My Thinking in Pictures (and Videos)

Wow.  What a week.  A lot of drama.  And hence, a lot of thinking and reflecting.  I spent quite a good portion of my week explaining to the drama inducers how my brain works.  And since I was thinking about it and talking about it, I thought... why not write about it?

I think in pictures and videos.  These pictures and videos are snapshots of things I've seen with my own eyes.  The more things I experience and see, the more pictures and videos collect in my brain.  All these pictures and videos make up my thoughts.  And boy, do I do a lot of thinking. 

Unfortunately, the pictures and videos don't just collect in my brain and stay there.  They connect and link to each other. Kinda like hyperlinks on the Internet. If I stop to think about it, for you database people, it's a many to many relationship. 

All day I'm thinking. And by thinking, I mean the pictures and videos are constantly connecting to each other in new and interesting ways.  I see a car. It links to another car. Which links to a movie and a TV series. The TV series links to a video of the neighbor boy doing a funny dance. And that's just a couple seconds of thought while I sit here on the bus, gazing out the window, writing this blog post.  My mind is constantly in motion.

Mostly my pictures and videos are my observations of people's behavior. The most vivid pictures/videos are those that experiences I associate with a feeling. The stronger and more intense the feeling, the more vivid and detailed the video.

So, all day long, I'm observing others behavior, storing it and then making connections to all the other behaviors I've stored. I've been caught many times consumed by this process.  I usually come out of it when someone says, "What are you staring at?" or "Penny for your thoughts" or "You seem deep in thought".  When I was younger it was more along the lines of "Pay attention!"

All the connecting of the pictures leads to different outcomes. Sometimes the outcomes are good and sometimes they are frustrating. I have many different data points that I process simultaneously. This skill helps me understand and predict how a person will behave. The frustrating part is waiting for the person to exhibit the behavior. Sometimes I know in advance what a person is going to do. I've learned the hard way that I need to wait for them to exhibit the behavior.  They have to work through their emotions on their own.  That's very frustrating for me when I already know the outcome.

That's how it works folks. It's difficult to process all that data in real time, so I'm not very good thinking on my feet.  I need to time to formulate my thoughts.  Especially, when the topic is new to me.  Essentially, when I am in a conversation with someone, I'm trying to translate the pictures into words in real time.  And when someone needs an immediate response, that's where I tend to fail. 

In general, people want an immediate response to their question.  Hesitations or pauses in normal conversation indicate that I'm thinking (see above).  To the person I'm conversing with, it means something entirely different.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Kashmir in Pictures, Part II

Just one of the many beautiful views in Kashmir.  
This one was taken during my horseback ride to Kashmir Valley.  My guide was adamant that I was riding a pony not a horse.  But "pony ride" just doesn't seem to do the activity justice.

Kashmiri Children
I was quite impressed with this young girl taking care of her younger sibling.  She saw me on my "pony" with the camera and was sure to put the scarf on her head just right. 

Street Vendor
What struck me was the spices are mixed in the empty water bottles with a hole poked in the top for easy shaking.  Also, the organization of the food, so pretty!

Bridge in Pahalgam
This bridge is the entrance to someones property.  How do I know?  I made TC check it out.  A bridge like this would never pass safety inspection in the US.  And that's why I love it!  Cross at your own risk!

Himalaya House in Pahalgam
My room was on the top right.  No phones.  Whenever I needed something, I would have to go out on the balcony and shout down my request.  

Shikaras on the Water
 It doesn't matter what I do, every time I see one of these boats a Shakira song starts playing in my head.  Go away Shakira.  Go away!!

Lotus Flower from Dal Lake
A gift from my Shikara driver.  I was super nervous because the Shikara stopped and I didn't want to look back to see what the guy was doing.  I had no idea what was going on!  When he handed me this lotus flower, I was SO relieved!
Mogul Garden in Srinagar
My tour guide took me to many of these gardens.  I particularly like the symmetry of this one.

Indian Cucumber
I was so hungry after the walk through the mogul gardens.  A freshly made cucumber was a welcome sight.

Proud Kashmiri Mother and Baby
I stopped for a mango shake and spotted this very proud mother and her baby. 

Mogul Gardens
To be honest, I'm not very fond of visiting the mogul gardens, but I do love capturing all the symmetry.  This is more of the symmetry I absolutely adore.

Evening Shikara Ride
I spent an evening watching the sun go down in Srinagar.  This was one of the most peaceful moments I can remember.

View at the top of Gulmarg
I rode the Gondola up to the last point and this was the view.  Quite rocky and cool.  Many Indians were dressed in full-on parkas.  Being a girl from the mid-west, it didn't seem cold to me at all!
Snack Shop at Gulmarg
The colors and the candy.  I just had to take this picture.  Its all so neat and orderly!

Sheep Grazing at Gulmarg
There were a few flocks of sheep grazing across the mountain in Gulmarg.  Seeing a shepherd tending to his flock right there on the mountain in front of me sent me deep in thought.

Resting at Gulmarg
TC and I taking a much needed break.  We rented these boots and I think my camo boots are much cuter than his boring black ones.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Another Business Trip to Delhi

Today my boss asked me if I would go to Delhi.  A year ago, I would have jumped up and down and screamed yes.  Today, I have different feelings.  Business trips to Delhi are no longer appealing to me, even when I consider the company footing the bill for airfare. 

My first business trip to Delhi was a fabulous experience.  I work for a Fortune 500 company and they took care of EVERYTHING.  I flew business class and once I arrived, there was a driver, Vijay, with a sign waiting for me.  I got into his car and he gave me a cell phone.  There were numbers already programmed into the cell phone and I was able to get in contact with my co-workers immediately.  Vijay then whisked me away to my lodging - a corporate penthouse apartment.  Once at the apartment, I was greeted by Gulam, my own personal cook.  Seriously... could this get any better?!!?

I stayed in Delhi for 10 days and every day was an adventure.  I woke up each morning to find breakfast waiting for me - usually Aloo Paratha, Yum!  After breakfast, Vijay would take me to a new Delhi destination.  First day was the Lotus Temple, second day was Dilli Haat, third day Qutub Minar - you get the picture.  After seeing one or two sights, Vijay would take me back to my room so I could get ready for work.  Working hours were 2pm to 10pm.  When I arrived at my room, Gulam had lunch already prepared and also packed me a dinner for the office.  Honestly, I wanted to live like that forever!

That was a year ago.  Now my business trips to Delhi are not nearly as exciting.  Yes, I still fly business class and Vijay meets me at the Delhi airport.  Gulam still greets me at the apartment and tends to my every need.  The problem is that I long to explore new places and things.  My company keeps me under tight security and all the places and people I want to see are not on the "approved" list.  I've visited everything on the approved list - and I want to see more.  It seems such a waste.  I'd love to tack on a few extra days to my business trip and go for a weekend in Jaipur or an overnight visit to Agra.  Unfortunately, all of these are off limits and considered unsafe when I'm there on business.  

So here I sit.  I long to explore India.  But on my own terms.

No more business trips to Delhi where I end up visiting every mall in Gurgaon and trolling facebook for old boyfriends with Gulam.  Its time for me to explore India on my own.  Hmmm.... I feel my spirits picking up already!