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Fly High! – Renovating Chennai Airport

July 12, 2012

While the construction of Chennai Metro Rail is in rapid progress everyday, another transportation hub that Metro Rail will connect to is on the final stage of the massive-scale modernization project. Chennai’s Anna International Airport is building two glass-walled terminals – domestic and international – connected via long corridor. I’m flying high for its opening scheduled in August!

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Monsoon in the Afternoon

July 5, 2012

In India, the monsoon season begins from the West. After a couple of summer months with no rain, now the temperature in Chennai is cooling down (relatively, to the 90s F.) It has been some rains, too. It is still months away from the monsoon here, but the west side of India, like Goa and Kerala, may have been in the season already. Eventually the monsoon crosses Indian subcontinent and reaches to the Bay of Bengal, bringing Chennai more rain and some other stuff.

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Diversity vs. Divercity

June 29, 2012

It’s not a typo. At the waterfront of Tokyo, there is a newly developed commercial complex called DiverCity Tokyo Plaza. The tag line, according to the developer, is ‘Tokyo Trend Revue, where entertainment, shopping, playing and dinning all come together’ or some like that. They have Old Navy, H&M, Coach, Zara, UNIQLO, etc. Well, in short, it’s just another shopping mall. Nothing diverse in its concept.

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Sandwich, Bagel, and American Freedom Fighter

June 21, 2012

When I first came to the US, I hated Subway restaurant. Not because of their food or service (I loved them) but because of the number of the choices that I have to make at the counter.

What kind of bread do you want? Which cheese do you like? Vegetables? Pickles? Dressing? With chips? Soda? – I just want the same Subway Club on the menu board!

The Subway in Tokyo is not like that. What sandwich would you like? Subway Club, please. Sure, here you go. You’ll make only one choice – all the other choices are already made for you.

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Bridging The Past – 50 Years Old Legacy

June 13, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an entry ‘Bridging The Future – Chennai Metro Rail Project,’ trying to illustrate how large-scale construction projects build the foundation of the countries on the growth stage. Isn’t it great to have modern infrastructure made of steel and concrete, which also provides more work to the local economy?

Then, a few days ago, I found an article on the Japanese news site saying that Tokyo Metro Expressway needs $12B to repair its old bridges. Oops.

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Creative Authenticity – Japanese-ish Cuisine and Ninja Conspiracy

June 7, 2012

There are a couple of good Japanese restaurants in Chennai. My favorite is Momoyama, which serves great food at a reasonable price. One of their signature dish is called ‘Tori no Subuta’ translating to ‘sweet and sour pork of chicken.’ Yes, sweet and sour pork made with chicken. The intended meaning is ‘sweet and sour chicken’ or ‘sweet-and-sour-pork styled chicken.’ I guess, since sweet and sour pork is a quite popular dish in Japan, they translated it in this way. The translation sounds funny for the natives. So what? It tasted fantastic and I would order it again next time.

When I’m outside Japan, I always was asked which Japanese restaurant is a ‘true’ Japanese one. Some self-claimed ‘authentic’ Japanese restaurants serve food which is too creative for the Japanese. I enjoy and appreciate the creativity of these Japanese-ish restaurants.

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Chennai Oil Shock

June 1, 2012

Tuesday morning at 7am in Chennai, there was a long queue of cars, tracks, auto rickshaws, and motorcycles at a gas station along the highway. Almost one hundred vehicles were forming the long line, causing a traffic jam on the highway’s main lanes. Considering the slow pace of refueling at the pump, it could take a couple of hours to get the tank filled, if the fuel supply miraculously lasts until our turn. Aware that our car would also run out of gas on our return from the office, we hopelessly passed this station and went to the next. But next five stations were temporary closed with a make-shift signboard saying ‘sorry no petrol.’ I started to think that I may need to take a train and a bus to go back home.

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