Wednesday, June 25, 2008

On a cappella, volleyball, and parentheses

So Monday was a very eventful day. I got to work in the late morning (I'm working about 10am-7:30 or 8 now, most of the time) to find my cubicle abuzz with talk about the big game that evening . . . apparently every few months, the PLES Department (Product Lifecycle and Engineering Solutions, my department here) has some kind of sports tournament between the production teams. By production team, I mean a group of about 5-20 people working for a single client, like the Boeing team, the Airbus team, etc. The guys in my cubicle work for Triumph, and although I'm not officially on a team (since I'm doing my own, independent project), they've kind of adopted me. The three guys in my cubicle--Arjun, Rohan, and Parampal) will take me out for coffee, send me funny email forwards, and tell me stories and give me advice on traveling and India in general. I've gotten to know the other members of the team (about 15 guys) a little as well, as our cubicle is sort of a hangout place and there are often 6 or 7 people crowded around Arjun's computer, next to mine. They're mostly between 20 and 30, I think, so it's pretty easy to joke around and hang out with them at work. They also give me samosas sometimes :)

Anyway, for the past week my team has been super intense about this volleyball tournament with practices and strategies and whatnot. They named their team the Incredi-ples, after the Pixar movie. But I thought I would share one of the more hilarious dialogues that went on a few days ago:

Arjun: Do you know how to play volleyball?
Me: Of course I do. In the States, you have to learn it in school, and you sometimes go to other people's houses and play during the summer.
Arjun: you do??? we learned how to play three days ago! (to Rohan, the team captain) Rohan, she knows how to play! She learned it in school!
Rohan (astonished): What? If I had known that I would have put you on our team! You get two extra points for having a girl!!!
Me: (tries really hard not to laugh)

Ah well, I guess engineering is pretty much the same, despite geographical boundaries. Anyway, I agreed to go to the volleyball game, take pictures, and cheer on the team. However, my student mentor Nidhi wanted me to attend another event that evening-- the Stanford a cappella group Raagapella was coming to give a performance, and she was deathly worried that none of the interns would come. Since she knew I was involved with a cappella at school, she made me promise to bring all the other interns.

So at 5:30 pm I dragged a bunch of other interns to the amphitheater (yes, we have one on campus) to hear this random South Asian a cappella group from Stanford, where we were pretty much used as marketing for Infosys (look at the InStep interns! look how young and enthusiastic and diverse they are!) but I didn't mind. The group wasn't bad-- they definitely had their moments-- but mostly it just made me really, really miss Katzenjammers (If any of you are reading this . . . get pumped, because fall is going to be awesome!).

After the concert, I hurried over to the volleyball match, where my team was playing best of three against another team. I caught the last part of the second game, which we won, and all of the third game. It was hard to believe that these guys had learned to play volleyball just three days before the game; from my completely unskilled point of view, they were quite good. I'll let you decide for yourself-- I've included a video below :) But after an intense, close match, they won the game! So they're advancing in the tournament, and I will continue to take pictures and maybe even play, to give them those extra points. hahaha.

The rest of this week has been pretty uneventful, although I am still constantly trying and experiencing new things. Yesterday was our first Bollywood dance workshop, run by the indefatigable Manav, and I'm planning on going to his classes twice a week (we're learning a dance from Naacho! whoa!). Yesterday I went out into the city with a few friends and shopped and bargained along Commercial Street, where I bought a salwaar kameez, altered to fit me exactly (I'm going to wear it to work in a few minutes and it is SO comfortable). We went to dinner at a place called Angeethi, famed for its mango lassi. Although I was unimpressed by the lassi, the food was AMAZING. North Indian food is definitely much better than South Indian food. My new favorite is Navratan Korma, a vegetable dish that means "Nine-jewel Korma" (korma = mild creamy sauce full of vegetables etc), since there are nine different kinds of fruits and vegetables (including pineapple sometimes!). I get really excited about food here (and everywhere, come to think of it).

I also think that I'm overusing parentheses. I'll have to work on that for next time.


My team, excited after the big win

Me and my team

A video of some of the game. My friend and cubicle-mate Arjun is making most of the hits, my other cubicle-mate Rohan is the team captain (the big guy in the front) and my last cubicle-mate, Parampal, is the one doing all the yelling :)


Unknown said...

I want to see a picture of you in the thing that is "sooooo comfortable". Have fun in Goa!

Sara said...

I just discovered your blog, through Becky, and now I am so excited to hear about what you are getting up to! I missed you last semester, but let's chalk it up to scouting out BA for GC.
Be happy!