Saturday, June 30, 2012

A long drive around town

Yesterday I played tourist in Hyderabad -
Shoes off and no cameras or cell phones at Birla Mandir, a huge white marble hindu temple.  Was impressed that people gather here with their families each weekend and wait for an hour to see the deities.  Street food and lemonade followed.
This little kid was adorable but a such little hustler!  He sold toys on the street at the base of Charminar
Hyderabad's most iconic structure is surrounded by sprawling chaotic markets, largely selling pearls - what the city is famous for - and then everything in between (Giant toy aeroplane anyone?  What about a pile of used mens office shoes?)
The dome at the main gates of Golkonda Fort, a clap here can be heard all the way up in the top citadel - 'the first telephone system' my guide joked.  One clap for 'friend', two for 'enemy' and three for 'guest' - was so sweet that they clapped three times for me.
Sweet pearls of nourishment.  This was a basket propped up on the back of a bike - the original food truck!
There was some haggling for pashminas and meeting my driver's beautiful family (while we picked up his bike from the repair shop, of course) in there too.  Exhausted but worth it!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Feasting and flowers

Another Google office, another post with arial views of things - it's the weekend, indulge me.
Breakfast.  Oatmeal is going to be hard to come back to.
Flowers floating at the main entrance.
Happy rest days everyone!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Having it all

This article on whether or not women really can 'have it all' has been making the rounds recently.  I found it refreshingly sobering, as it unpacked the 'half truths we hold dear' ("it's possible if you're just committed enough", "it's possible if you sequence it right"), and pointed them out as exactly that - only half truths.
Life at the airport - certainly not one I could juggle if I had a family.
I think Slaughter herself best sums up the need for a dialogue around the ability to really have it all -

"If we didn’t start to learn how to integrate our personal, social, and professional lives, we were about five years away from morphing into the angry woman on the other side of a mahogany desk who questions her staff’s work ethic after standard 12-hour workdays, before heading home to eat moo shoo pork in her lonely apartment."

A long but necessary read, regardless of gender.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Teach them to long

Endless sea at Byron.
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood; don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." 

On motivating a team, words from Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Hey, Hyderabad

The tip of the Falaknuma Palace entry at dusk.  The building is shaped like a scorpion, in homage to the builder's star sign.
My view when I looked up at dinner.  Unbelievable.
Twenty four hours in Hyderabad and I've nearly run over a buffalo, eaten my weight in biryani and dined underdressed in skinny jeans at a palace.  Too exhausted for words but just had to share before I crash on my second night here.

India, I like you already.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday links

Had a severe craving for a fried egg this weekend, paired it with a falafel and messy cous cous gumbo.
Haven't linked up in awhile, but it's that kind of evening.

I love giant things - one of the few DIYs I might actually make one day.  And on that family - this is a beautiful new video series of the kids from Design Mom.  I love that part of their reason for making this series to promote healthy sibling relationships "without the sarcasm".

Lyrics to live by - it was this one this one from the Rolling Stones from a friend's Facebook wall that got me back onto it. And on getting what you want vs need - don't like your job?  Great article on changing it.

Finally, I don't normally pass these around, but these very human pictures going around at the moment gave me goosebumps.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Five minutes

Taking five between building workbenches with a friend here
"Man, give it five minutes." 

From a great post on giving an idea another person's idea the chance to breathe, via swissmiss.

Was actually reminded of this today by my deskmate (deskmate?  Colleague who sits next to me).  She mentioned that someone once told her that if you're having a bad day (I was) you should always "give it five minutes" - a lot can happen in those minutes, and then see how you feel.

Worked for me today.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Every morning

Rain or sun, the ritual continues.
Fresh roses from Taylor Square markets, picked up on the walk back from baked eggs and a sesame milkshake at Reuben Hills.
They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Design and Thinking

A colleague over in the US recently got selected to participate in the Leading by Design Fellows Program at the California College of the Arts.  It's one of the first of its kind in the US which teaches design thinking and strategy to business leaders, and is an extension of 'Design and Thinking' - a documentary that came out recently -

“Why is it that big huge corporations get beaten by kids in garages?” 

I must admit I find this oddly validating and all the more thankful for the way my life's dots have joined up.  Whenever I explain my education background vs what I'm doing now I always have a mix of people thinking that I've either sold out or assuming I have this pent-up unused 'creativity', but in my mind I'm constantly applying all the strategic thinking and problem solving that I learnt at university - and definitely more than I would be if I were a 'designer' pushing out graphics for some corporation.

I think this is what the garage kids call living the dream.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On culture

Coffee culture - not sure if I always know the why but I definitely know when it's the best and I'm pleased with it!
“Culture is the habit of being pleased with the best and knowing why.”

Originally from Henry Van Dyke, but I discovered it on one of the presenter's slides at Pecha Kucha last week (see, I discovered more than mobile food that evening).

Friday, June 8, 2012

Taped words

Currently at the MCA.

Food, on a truck

Went to my first PechaKucha in a long time on Tuesday to see a friend, and to my delight it also afforded my first Sydney food truck experience!  Eat Art Truck was there to cater the event and boy was it delicious - smoky barbecued pulled pork buns, spicy crunchy noodles and fried chicken wings anyone?
The art portion of the truck.
Ordering food from a truck window is strangely novel and exciting.
They have a legit kitchen going on in there!  He fried up the wings fresh as my stomach made impatient noises.
Sticky fried chicken wing goodness.
Reaching up to collect our food from the whirring truck was a moment straight out of my last trip to the US, and oh it felt great knowing they are here to stay.

It's Friday!  It's a food truck!  Happy long weekend y'all - see if you can chase a food truck down yourself.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Grey antidote

Oh hello, paper daisy.
With the onset of the extreme rain that Sydney's been having recently, I returned to this ritual with the hope that the pink would offset the grey skies outside.  It reminded me of a flatmate in Germany who used to buy daisies for our kitchen table so that 'it will always be springtime in our apartment'.  The memory now has me visiting Germany - in actual springtime, or just simulated within a kitchen - in my mind tonight.

At least my toast is from LΓΌneburger.

Monday, June 4, 2012

One year

Open windows in Paddington.
Quick and dirty post that just has to happen because it's officially one year for this little blog today!

One year ago I was sitting in an apartment in San Francisco, debating over this blog and posting about joining the dots courtesy of the then-alive Steve Jobs.  And now with similarly brisk weather in Sydney, I'm typing away in sweaty gym gear and running late for a date with C.  Somewhere in between all that C moved to Singapore, we saw countries that were new to us and I ate a lot (a lot) of food.

I am thankful.  It's been a happy one.