Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reflections on India: The things I Learned

Close to two months spent in India and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. I have been extremely lucky to have experienced all that I have and to have met the amazing people that made my stay extra special. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in India and it exceeded my expectations n every way. I would recommend travelling India to anyone seeking a unique cultural experience and a bit of adventure.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

India Trip Part 7: Kolkata

My final stop in india is the country's second largest city, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). Despite the way my parents remember the city, it is quite nice and relatively clean.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Profit from Your Drinking Game Skills

Drinking games have been popular for many years and for good reason, as they're a great way to get the party started when hanging out with friends and can be an ideal ice-breaker in any situation. Whether you prefer board games such as the, hand-eye coordination games such as quarters or beer pong, or card-based drinking games like "Asshole" and "Screw Your Neighbor", you've got plenty of great options when it comes to drinking games. One thing you might not realize, though, is that in some cases you can put your drinking game skills to good use and actually pull in some hefty profits.

Beer pong is a drinking game staple around the world and has grown rapidly in popularity in recent years, with events like the World Series of Beer Pong (WSOBP) drawing more than 800 participants in 2010. Not only is the beer pong World Championship title up for grabs but there's plenty of cash to be won as well, with a $50,000 grand prize going to the winner of the 2011 WSOBP. Satellite tournaments let some teams win their way to Vegas for the WSOBP for free, so even if you don't win the championship title you still get to enjoy a weekend in Vegas and all the action you can handle at the blackjack, video poker, and craps tables.

If you're a veteran of card drinking games, you've likely learned a trick or two when it comes not just playing your cards correctly but also reading opponents and knowing when they're bluffing and when they actually have a strong hand. With some practice and time spent brushing up on strategy, those skills can be very valuable at the online poker tables, where top players can easily make $100,000/year or more. Millions of players compete at various online poker sites every year, drawn by both the profit potential as well as the convenience of being able to play from nearly anywhere in the world.

Once nice perk of playing poker, slots games online, and other casino games is that you'll also often be eligible for generous new player bonuses just for creating and funding your account, as many online sites offer lucrative cash bonuses and promotions to entice new players to their site. In some cases you can double or triple your starting bankroll with a new player bonus, which is in addition to any money that you win from your play at the tables. Terms and conditions can apply to bonuses, however, so be sure you read all of the fine print before you accept a bonus when signing up at an online site.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

India Trip Part 6: Dehradun and Varanasi

Another overnight bus and I was in Uttarakhand state's capital Dehradun. Dehradun isn't very interesting or much fun. The only reason I stopped there for a night was to catch an onward train to Varanasi.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Favourite Travel Photos: Sunset in Goa

The calming sunset before what is sure to be a wild night in India's party state, Goa.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

India Trip Part 5: The Dalai Lama's house and Himachel Pradesh

I boarded a bus in Delhi on a tuesday afternoon and, somehow, found myself in the Swiss Alps on tuesday morning.  That is, at least, how it felt.  I had arrived in Manali in the northwest corner of India. Snow capped peaks, evergreen trees and cool mountain air have mefeeling as if I have left India and ended up in a ski resort on the other side of the world. Manali is, apparently, a major tourist destination for Israelis. Almost every other tourist there was Israeli and I'm pretty sure everyone just assumed I was Israeli as well.

I did a day trip with a friend I met in Delhi to the nearby town of naggar. Naggar was a neat little town that is famous for being home of the Russian artist Nicholas Roerich.  We went to the Roerich museum which was ok but the best part of the trip was the ride through the mountain roads on the back of a motorcycle.

From Manali I took a bus to Mcleod Ganj. I decided to take a day bus instead of the cheaper overnight option so that I could see the mountain scenery. It was nice drive and I'm glad I did it. Mcleod Ganj is home to the exiled tibetan government for which the  head is the Dalai Lama.  Unfortunately the Dalai Lama is currently on tour somewhere, however there are plenty of tibetan related sights tosee around town and hoards of red-robed monks.  It really feels like a different country here, I think there are more tibetan refugees here than Indians.   The night that I arrived here there was an outdoor rock concert of one of india biggest bands (or so they claim). It was pretty decent and kinda funny to see tibetan monks rockin out to the music.

I walked a lot around the surrounding area a fair bit to a waterfall, a lake (currently dried up), and nearby villages.

I met some guys from Kashmir in a local pub.  They are currently living here selling Kashmiri Handicrafts to tourists.  They invited me to their home for dinner last night for Kashmiri food and tea, it was delicious and although I half expected them to propose some sort of scam business proposition to me the proposition never came and it was a great experience. 

From McLeod Ganj I took a long and windy overnight bus ride to Uttarakhand's state capital Dehradun...

Monday, May 9, 2011

International Beer: Hayward's 5000

India's best selling strong beer, Hayward's 5000 Super Strong Beer, is for those not easily intimidated by it's aggressive branding; "Super strong" simply means not greater than 8% abv.   Hayward's is a SABMiller product whose acquisition of Shaw Wallace gave the company a good position in the strong beer sector which is the fastest-growing segment in the Indian market.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

India Trip Part 4: Colour Coded Cities of Rajasthan

As a rapidly approach the 1 month mark of my trip I am shocked by how the time has gone.  I've gotten used to India by now and find myself drinking 5 or 6 cups of chai (Indian tea) everyday.  It seems odd to be sipping a boiling hot beverage when the temperature exceeds 40 degrees but somehow the chai is always refreshing. I have been in the state of Rajasthan since my last post and it is very beautiful but hot, very hot.   I haven't had a heated shower since I left home but in Rajasthan the water, along with just about everything else, is always warm. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

International Spirits: Indian country made liquor

 Daru, Arak, country made liquor; bootleg alcohol goes by many names in India, and is available in many places.  It is the distilled spirit from fruit, grain, sugarcane, coconut palm or any other substance easily fermented. The flavour of the liquor also has great variance, from smooth sipping syrup to fiery rocket fuel.  Although these concoctions are commonly drunk by locals, they can be just as toxic as they taste.
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