Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mercosur at the Mundial

I was hoping for an all Mercosur semi lineup, but Brazil of all teams flamed out. Still possible to have three of the four as of now (Uruguay is in, Paraguay and Argentina face tough matches in the next few hours). We'll have to see.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Long time without a posting. Too much work. But I will catch up, starting with our recent trip to Hyderabad. The CharMinar and bangles. Muslim finery, hints of a glorious past, and current poverty. We'll start with the bangles. Colorful, in all shades, materials, and shapes.The colors in the rows are all different sizes.

The bangle bazaar is on one street off the CharMinar, with two of its four posts seen below. It is an impressive structure, and perhaps the most impressive thing is how cool it is underneath it (full of families resting in the cool shade, escaping the oppressive heat), and upstairs. These guys knew how to build their fancy buildings.
Also impressive were the views from the top.
The view in the other direction.A close-up shot from above of one of the "commerce corners" below:
All kinds of things are bought and sold in addition to the bangles -- like hair ornaments, even if they will be hidden by a headscarf.
Or everyday Islamic garb.Or fancy dress up clothes that one sees at weddings.One great thing is the water that is available to drink, for free, found in coolers throughout these streets and stores too.The alleys and side streets are jumbles of wires, stores, signs, and people. In addition to the old City and the trade that takes place there, Hyderabad is spreading and growing. Political problems and protests (mainly over the establishment of a new state of Telegana, splitting Andhra Pradesh, the current unified state) have led some of the newer glass-laden buildings to protect themselves with mesh netting, as seen below.
New construction is seen all over the city -- although a bit less than in Bangalore. There are all these funny rock formations all over the city, supposedly "protected", as the rock above appears to be. Here the construction hasn't smashed it yet, but in many parts of town you can see where they have been removed. Large scale roads are being built, seeming a bit more serious and sturdier than the "magic boxes" found in Bangalore.Here are some shots of settlements (formal, informal, I can't tell) with houses set among the rocks in an area on the way to the airport.

These had a feel of Latin America -- except for all the mosques, but the houses on the hillside.

One great thing -- and evidently only recently introduced -- was the existence of bus bays set up at bus stops, with barriers keeping other vehicles out, and the buses in (and stopping at the appropriate places). In this case the barriers included a sign.
As shot from the back seat of the car, as we rapidly pass the bus bay on the left. Here the barriers were barrels. You can also see how Ganesh is blessing the driver.