Marty shot in suit with one hand in pocket

Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

Marty’s World Wide Sales Training Event – Post 16 – The Bali Class

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

I am writing this from my home office desk in The Atl, back in the USA!  Arrived on time at 7:15 am, after 20 hours of flying from Bali to Taipei to San Francisco. My travelling partner and customer, Patty, from FLSmidth, noted that it took us two weeks to get half way around the world and then we flew the other half in one day. Wow!

The Australians and Chinese sales teams were great, very engaged in the class, always asking challenging questions.  They kept me on my toes and made me earn my keep!

Australian and Chinese Sales Teams for FLSmidth

As you may remember, we play a game during the class, and for salespeople, if there is a game with a prize, it quickly becomes very competitive. One team, the Propeller Heads, had 6 people, versus the 4 or 5 on other teams, so they had more people to earn cards/points.  Near the end of day 2, they had a huge lead, and so one of the other teams, RADDS, did some creative card counting and tallied 442 points at the end of day two, to take the lead away. However, they got a bit greedy, as there are only 440 points total in a 52 card deck.  So when all the points were added up at noon on the third and last day, the Propellor Heads waited until RADDS posted their score, then they did some creative math, and won.  Here is the winning team.

The Propeller Heads Winning Team in Bali

The meeting room we had in Bali was decorated like no other hotel meeting room I have ever seen.  Very elaborate flower and plant decorations were built up front and in the middle of the room.  It created a very festive and “island” feel, which was cool.  This helped as the room had no windows.  It also made up for the fact that the sound system may have been the worst I have ever seen, very muddled sound, so for the few videos I used, it was really tough to hear. But, hey, I was teaching in Bali, so I shouldn’t get too picky! Here are some photos of the room.

Bali Classroom middle decorations

Bali Classroom front decorations

The Bali Classroom

The other interesting fact was that for the entire 2.5 days, two hotel meeting room workers sat in the back, on the floor, huddled, just waiting for us to need something. They never went anywhere else. Very responsive and friendly, always smiling.  Not the best english speaking skills, but they were always there just waiting for us to ask them to do something!

Meeting Room Helpers!

I have mentioned Patty several times and linked her name to her LinkedIn profile, but here is Patty Austin and Doug Schlepp. Doug is our executive sponsor or what we would call our “political sponsor” in our class.  Patty runs Sales Operations and was the main person (along with Jacqui Fortsch, who did not attend the class) who did all the leg work, logistics, class planning, and travel planning. Three very key people who made all of this happen for us.  So, thank you to Doug, Patty and Jacqui on the FLSmidth side.  And, thank you to Mike Covol from The Complex Sale, who sold this deal, along with Julie Surman and Leigh Anne Shields, who did all the hard work behind the scenes for me. They make my job very easy, as everything gets shipped on time and emails send on time, and all I have to do is show up and teach. So, thank you all for being such a great support team!

Patty and Doug, Thank You!

On our way home, we saw two things in the Taipei airport that I thought were funny.  First, Patty found this Kobe Bryant Black Mamba t-shirt, so she finally understood that when I said “Black Mamba” in South Africa that I was not trying to start an international incident!

Secondly, I saw this sign in the airport where they show a unique little symbol for almost every possible type of condition that you might have.  So if you are pregnant, old, in a wheelchair or have a baby in a stroller, you get your own symbol in Taipei!

A Symbol for everyone!

I will most likely post another 1-2 “post trip” blogs, so look for a few more over the next few days.  Although, I better get them done by tomorrow. Saturday I leave for a week on a cruise for spring break. Geez, could my life get any better?

Selah

Marty’s World Wide Sales Training Event – Post 15 – Balinese Dancers

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Well, our journey is almost over, a half day of deal reviews today with the Australian and Chinese sales teams, and then we fly from Bali to Taipei, 5 hour flight;Taipei to San Francisco 11 hour flight; San Francisco to Atlanta 4.5 hour flight.  Leave Bali at 4 pm Wednesday and arrive Atlanta Thursday morning at 7 am.  Basically flying half way around the world today and tomorrow!

The last dinner of the trip was great, FLSmidth lined up a Balinese Dancing group who put on a great show of classic Balinese dancing. Somewhat like belly dancing, but not so much hip and belly, but more about the arms and the hands. In fact, all of the women dancers could move all four fingers independently of each other. Remember how Spock could separate his first two fingers from the second two with a wide spread?  Well, these dancers could create the wide spread with all four fingers and move them one or all at a time.  An  amazing skill.

Cool, exotic costumes with big huge head dresses, lots of great color, dramatic makeup, accompanied by the traditional Balinese band with flutes, drum/bongo and the “keyboard” guys who hit the metal keys with hammers.

The last dancer was a guy, his character was a monkey/carp, so very strange and different face mask that was supposed to be the monkey part.  I called him the James Brown of Balinese dancing, as near the end of his routine, it seemed that he was faking leaving the stage and then coming back, the way James Brown used to do.

It was a great ending to a great trip that showed the traditional side of Bali.  Then we feasted on traditional Bali food!

Will post more once I get home, so will be a couple of days before I blog again.

Thanks to everyone who has been following my blogs and reading. See you soon.

Selah.

The Balinese "Big Band"

The James Brown of Bali Dancing

Marty’s World Wide Sales Training Event – Post 14 – The Bali Beach

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Today is Tuesday morning March 27 for me, just 1.5 days more of training and we head home.  But this past Sunday I got to experience the Bali Beach, which is on the South China Sea, and what a crazy experience it was!

Just across the street from our hotel is the beach pool and beach. The hotel has all of the traditional beach chairs and umbrellas for us to use. But next to “our” beach are the public beaches, and that is where all the action was.

Hotel Beach on the South China Sea

Every known kind of boat of floating vehicle was out on the water for rent.  Glass bottom boats in the “sampan” style, big tubes, long tubes pulled by boats.  Wave runners of all sizes.  As you walked along the beach I was accosted by the “hawkers” who all called me “Boss Man”.  But the real attraction were the parasails.  Not just one, not just two, but at least 15 or so parasails all in action at once.  It was crazy, boats pulling parasails flying around each other, the long lines appearing to get tangled, but not, with take offs and landings on the beach. My Toastmaster friend Natalie is an air traffic controller at the Atlanta airport and I think she has an easy job compare do the “parasail traffic control” going on down at this beach.

Parasail Central

Each parasail has a boat driver with one guy in the boat and the long line attached to the parasail.  Take off and landing was controlled by a guy with a flag and bullhorn.

Parasail Traffic Controller

He had a team of “handlers” who would hook up the passenger and catch them when they landed.  Everywhere in the sky in all directions were parasails.

As I walked the beach, with Boss Man ringing in the air, I had to be very careful not to trip over the lines or get run over by a takeoff or landing.  Seriously, it was crazy dangerous.

I saw one take off where the “teams” got the lines tangled, and an anchored boat’s line crossed over the parasail line.  What’s at the end of the anchored boat’s line…..an anchor, so as the parasail took off, it pulled up the boat line and then pulled up the anchor and the anchor went flying towards the passenger.  The anchors everyone used was the four prong grappling hook type anchor!  So basically a four pronged grappling hook was hurtling towards this guys head, and at the last minute, the anchor went flying in the air, somehow missed the guys head, and the anchor fell to the sea and the passenger went flying away.  He missed getting “gaffed” in the head by inches.

Along the way I met this guy with the Boston Red Sox hat.  I asked him what he thought about Bobby Valentine taking over as Manager. He had no clue!  So, I asked him to give me the peace sign and took this photo.

I Love the Red Sox....but who is Bobby Valentine?

Then I ran across the hat/sunglass lady sales lady.  Hilarious!  Check this out!

Wanna buy a hat?

After my stroll on the beach, I got conned into a shopping trip by Patty.  She needed something for her boys and I needed to buy Milly, my youngest, something.  So, we walked down the street to a couple of shops.  Found this “End of Season” sign in the store window.  What seasons do they have in Bali?  It’s on the equator, they have the same day every day, 365 days a year.  Every day it is a high of 85 and a low of 75 with 90% humidity and 60% chance of rain.  What “season” are they talking about?

End of What Season?

Then I saw these ugh boots or ugg boots, however you spell it. Who wears ugg boots in Bali?  When do you need to keep your feet warm here?  And wouldn’t they get all nasty in the rain and sand and surf?

Ugg boots in Bali?

Last hilarious thing we saw on our shopping trip.  The advance parasail sales guy.  This guy is set up in the middle of the road with a little bench and a couple of orange cones.  As cars drive by he tries to sell them the “discount” price for parasails, which I have previously described.  Amazingly, people were stopping and buying from him, even in the rain!

The Advance Sales guy

Next to him was this hut with the word “Pospecalang” on the side. No clue what that word really means, but I decided it meant “prospecting” as that was what the guy in the middle of the street was doing.

The Prospecting Hut

So, the next time someone in my class says they hate prospecting, I will show them this picture and tell them if they don’t start prospecting on the phone or email or social media, they will be forced to prospect in the middle of the street….in the rain!

Selah.

 

Marty’s World Wide Sales Training Event – Post 13 – Singapore & Bali Airports

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

It is Sunday morning March 25, a bit before 9 am, a bit before 9 pm Saturday night for the USA-er’s.  I am looking out my hotel room door at the lush gardens and pool in Bali, Indonesia, right on the equator.  Hot and humid, reminds me of Florida, only more humid and more lush and green.  In the distance, I can see the cove and beach on the South China Sea. Yes, this sales training gig is a real “hard luck life” as they sang in Annie.

We flew down here yesterday from Singapore.  The Singapore airport is considered by most rankings as one of the top and best airports in the world.  It really is a huge mall that happens to have planes coming and going.  Every kind of store you can imagine is in this airport.  It seemed that more shopping was being done that travelling!  Everything in this airport ran like clockwork, very efficient, very clean, not noisy at all.  Employees standing around ready to answer questions and point you in the right direction.  You don’t go through the xray machine and security until right at your gate.  Every gate has their own xray and security spot and employees, so lots of people employed by the security system, but that allows anyone come to the airport/shopping mall without having to go through security.

It was so efficient, that not only do they tell you in how many minutes the train will show up, but they tell you how many minutes of walking until you find the next bathroom.  I couldn’t resist taking this photo to show you how “efficient” the Changi airport in Singapore was.

How Far is the Next Bathroom?

The other thing I loved was the moving sidewalk.  All of us have been on the moving sidewalk, “stand on the right, walk on the left”, right?  You just call it a moving sidewalk.

The moving sidewalk?

Well, not in the Changi airport.  In the Changi airport it has it’s  own name, see below.

Take a Ride on "The Travellator"!

Two plus hours of flying and we arrive at the Denpasar airport in Indonesia.  It was raining very hard and the sidewalks are the slippery smooth tiles, not concrete, so it is easy to slip and fall when it rains. And it rains all the time in Indonesia. And the gutters don’t work so well, so check out this photo.  The water was spilling over the gutters and onto the slippery sidewalk.  So, why not put a mop bucket under the leaky gutter to catch the rain water, right?  That works if you dump the mop bucket, but not this mop bucket!  It was spilling out of the mop bucket and onto the slippery sidewalk.  So much for keeping a safe sidewalk!

The Overflow Bucket

So, that is it for now.  I might go work out, or, I might go sit under a thatched roof and watch the South China Sea!

Last class starts tomorrow here at the hotel in Bali for the Australian and Chinese sales teams!

Selah.

Marty’s World Wide Sales Training Event – Post 12 – Chennai Beach

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Patty and I left the Asiana Hotel and headed down the beach area. The beach in Chennai is on the Bay of Bengal, and they claim it is the worlds second longest beach.  My brother Mitchell’s hotel, The Temple Bay, was also on this beach.  His hotel claimed they had the second largest pool in Asia.  Of course, Mitchell and I are from Tampa, home of Bayshore Boulevard, which claims to be the worlds longest continuous sidewalk.  So much for “world’s longest” claims.

On the way to the hotel, we were able to see the famous cows of Chennai who wander everywhere, literally, everywhere. Check out this great photo taken from my cab, cow standing on concrete median in middle of the road, maybe 12 inches from us!

The Famous Chennai Street Cows

The Fisherman’s Cove hotel, where we went to visit the beach, is a resort, much different than our business hotel.  The registration desk is in an “outdoor area”, a roof, but no walls, so you can see the lush vegetation and hear the birds.  As was the case in South Africa, India is very security conscious, so you have to enter via a metal detector like at the airport and all luggage is scanned and xrayed like at the airport.

When we hit the beach, we were very impressed, beautiful sand, very soft, tan in color, very neat and clean.

Bay of Bengal Chennai Beach

As we got close to the water, there was a small outcropping of rocks right where the waves crashed.  I, of course, wanted to stand on them and get Patty to take my picture.  I jumped up on the rock, only to have one of the “guards” who had followed us to the beach, start yelling at me, and then Patty started yelling, and then a local “vendor” (trying to sell conch shells) started yelling too.  I thought, oh geez, maybe these rocks are sacred (like the cows) and I have now caused the second or third “incident” of the trip.  I jumped off, asked why, and the reason from the guard was, “I don’t want you to fall in the water from the waves”.  Well, if that is all it is, who cares, right?  So, I jumped back on the rocks, and here I am standing in the Bay of Bengal.

Our beach protector

The Bay of Bengal and Marty

Patty put her feet in the bay, I put my hands in the Bay, we enjoyed the scenery and then headed back (all the while our guard kept a watchful eye over us, shooing away the conch shell salesman!)

On our way back in, I noticed a rather different design of the Indian beach chair style.  Reminded me more of the meeting room beach style, but apparently, in India, resources are tight, so the chairs have to serve double duty.  I also noticed a very strange and exotic Indian beach seashell.  Red in color with very tight geometrical designs. Looks familiar.  In fact, I saw this exact kind of seashell on the African safari, but at that point in time, I thought it was an exotic African safari rock. Seems “brick” is all around the world, serving different purposes and functions!

Multi purpose Indian beach/meeting room chair

The famous Chennai beach sea shell

Tomorrow morning we fly to Denpasar, Indonesia, where our next and final class will be held in Bali for the Australian and Chinese sales teams.  Stay tuned.  And in honor of the recently passed away Furman Bisher (famous Atlanta sportswriter)…….Selah.

Marty’s World Wide Sales Training Event – Post 11 – Chennai, India Class

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

I am writing this on Friday afternoon March 23, 5:30 pm (5:30 am for you USA-er’s) from the pool of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Singapore, which is connected to the Changi airport in Singapore.  We are here for a one day layover on our way to Bali for the next and last class of our trip.  We could not get into Indonesia today as it is a national religious holiday and they don’t allow travel during this event.  So, I am watching a family in the pool, a pool that looks like a lagoon, dark tile bottom, tree planters in the middle, lots of vegetation all around us, very cool site, with the sounds of jet airplanes behind us!

We arrived this morning about 5:30 am local time after a flight from Chennai, India.  We spent a great 2.5 days with the sales team from the FLSmidth India office.  They had to get used to my accent and speech rate and I had to get used to theirs, but we found some middle ground and had a great time and they learned a lot and are committed to using their new skills to help them increase their sales. There was one guy, nickname Cheng, who sat up front, first seat to my left, by the end of the class I called him my “Indian brother”. Same personality and sense of humor and propensity to talk alot, just like me!  Cheng is seated on the far right in the photo below.

My Indian brother Cheng on far right

The winning team (go back and read about the class contest from my earlier post in Johannesburg, where the “Fantastic Four” won) was the “Wizards”.  I told them to NOT be like the Washington Wizards who stink this year!  And they were not.  They had a huge lead at lunchtime on the second day, and in fact, asked Patty to just give them the prize then, they were so confident of victory.  But the afternoon of the second day was bad for them and two other teams came within three points of them by the end of the second day.  So, the last half day was very tense, with everyone shooting up their hands to interact and get cards, and everyone very focused on the quiz questions to earn points.  But, by the end of class, they smoked the other teams and won by about 40 points.  Here is the winning team, and the group photo of the entire class.

FLSmidth Indian Sales Team

The Wizards, Winning Team in India

The Asiana Hotel was a fantastic place, great food, great service, great room, everything was top notch.  Below is a photo of Banu, who works the front desk.  She was such a little whipper snapper and had a memory that seemed photographic.  She checked me in and then on the second day I was asking someone else at the front desk a question, and he asked me my room number.  Before my brain could even process and say the room number, Banu blurts out “1121” with a cute smirk on her face. We all laughed because she said it like she was on a game show!

Banu the front desk "mind like a steel trap" woman

On Wednesday night, my brother Mitchell and his co-worker Fred Brady (as in the Bunch) had dinner at the Thai restaurant at the hotel, Silk.  We ordered the famous Indian beer, KingFisher.  This time, we didn’t get the regular lager style, but got a bottle that was labelled “super strong”, which just cracked me up!

Super Strong Indian Beer

The Terrible Trio

Patty and I left the hotel and headed over to the beach for a snack and drink before heading to the airport. Read the next blog for that story.

 

Marty’s World Wide Sales Training Event – Post 10 – The Bollywood Girl

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

During some of my sales training classes I tell my Alcatraz story as the opening “grabber” story and spread it out over the 2-3 day class.  Creates some fun, I integrate it into the class, keeps up the class interest as they “hang on” to hear the ending. Without telling the whole story, at one point I traditionally tell how “a smoking hot California surfer chick paddles up to me in her kayak”.  This part of the story works great in the USA and worked great in South Africa, but I realized it might lose something in the translation in India.

So, I got help from Patty and her local FLSmidth peers in Chennai to help me “localize” the story.  They took my line above and translated it to “bahut sundar ladki” and then sent me links to three very popular beatutiful “smoking hot” Bollywood girls:  Deepika, Vidya and Aishwayra.  I downloaded their photo’s and added them to my story.

So, when I said “and then I looked up and saw paddling towards me a bahut sundar ladki”, the room said nothing.  I paused and said, let me try that again, and so a bit more slowly said the line, and then they got what I said and laughed a huge laugh.  I don’t think they expected to hear Hindi from me.  I then said, “and she might have looked something like this” and up popped these photo’s.  I got a huge roar then and lots of smiles, and they knew exactly the kind of girl that I saw out in the middle of the San Francisco Bay.

Well, let’s say, I had my image in my head and they had their image in their head, and we were all smiling!

 

Marty’s World Wide Sales Training Event – Post 9 – My personal Indian food guide and consultant

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

A quick update this morning.  I found a TV channel playing a sport I understand!  An ESPN type channel from India is showing a Pacers and Clippers game, the NBA!  I tried my best for an hour last night to figure out Cricket, while I was riding the exercise bike in the gym.  England was playing New Zealand.  Completely round field, with play in all directions.  Tried my hardest to figure out the rules and strategy, but still came up mostly empty.  There is a lot of passion which I like.  And the bowler, who is the pitcher in baseball terms seems to be the most important player and maybe the most skilled player.  And when you watch India and Pakistan and Bengladesh, the crowds are as crazed as soccer fans in the UK or SEC football in the south, so that is fun to watch.  But the cricket matches go on for days, so I still have a lot to learn on that sport.

Yesterday morning during the morning break, I ordered black coffee from the hotel employee who was assigned to our meeting room.  His english nickname is Frank.  From that moment forward, whenever Frank thought I needed black coffee on other breaks or at lunch, a cup of steaming black coffee appeared at my side, handed to me by a smiling Frank.  Very impressive that after one interaction he remembered and was persistent.

So, at dinner, which was a buffet (almost all the meals in South Africa and India at the hotels have been buffets), Frank was ready to help when it came time for dessert.  My goal at all meals is to eat something I cannot get in the USA.  So, when Frank asked if I wanted ice cream, I said “No, I want something from India”.  He pointed out a dessert that looked like a sugary pretzel, yellow in color, that had a bowl of cream sauce next to it.  I grabbed a few of the “sugary pretzels” and some mixed fruit with mint and put a little of the cream on the side.

I guess Frank felt like we had bonded during the day, so he grabbed my spoon, scooped up more of the cream sauce and said, “No No, pour it all over!” and poured several spoonfulls of the cream sauce over the sugary pretzel!  He smiled and assured me I would like it.

Well, of course I did, who does not like sweet cream poured over sugary pretzels!  It was awesome, not heavy, just what I needed.  As he cleared the plates he asked me how I liked it.  “It was awesome, you were totally right!” I told him.  He had a big smile.  So, now I have my personal Indian food advisor and consultant!

Keep your eyes and ears open for any international incidents tonight in Chennai.  My brother Mitchell, who works for Timken, is in town working at the local Timkin plant in Chennai.  We will have dinner tonight at my hotel, along with some of his co-workers.  If you don’t know my brother, check out his blog of his work travel adventures in China, now India and soon to be Romania.

Marty’s World Wide Sales Training Event – Post 8 – Local Sayings

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

As you could imagine, some of the things I/we say in the States are unique to us or our region.  The same is true, I have found, for the rest of the world.  So far, here are some of the more interesting ones I have heard in South Africa and India.

Staggered.  Our driver from the airport to the hotel in Johannesburg used the word staggered.  As in, “when I saw how much Peyton Manning made in one year, I was staggered!”  Now, he didn’t comment on Peyton, but he used the word staggered to mean unbelievable or amazed or my jaw dropped or I couldn’t believe it.  So, while I had never heard the word staggered in that context, when he said it, I knew exactly what he meant.  And, I like it.  We say staggering, but I like the alternative use of staggered, I guess which is the past tense of staggering?  Not sure, but I am going to try and start using that word.

Crumbs.  Again, our driver said the word, Crumbs!  As in rats or argh or I can’t believe it or crap!  For me the mental image of say bread crumbs combined with the feeling of “aw shucks” or even one of the 7 deadly words that George Carlin said you cannot say on TV (one of which begins with an S and I don’t mean stupid), was a nice mental image for me.  You would say crumbs! if you wanted a piece of bread and found only crumbs where the loaf used to be.  So, again, I am going to try and incorporate that word too.

At the safari lodge, Bakubung, the front desk guy said “Yeah-bo”  I am phoenetically spelling it as it sounded more like ya-bo.  He said that at the end of almost every sentence.  I think it comes from “yeah man” or “yeah brother” or “yeah bro” and became yeah bo.  Just one letter shorter, drop the r from yeah bro and you sound like a real South African.  Say it with my new “white rasta” cap on and you are for sure a local!

Today in India, one of the sales reps was describing one of the key stakeholders at the prospect as a “jack in the pack”.  I sort’ve understood, and then they said it was like “jack in the pack of cards” as in the “wild card”, the guy you had to keep your eye on.  He could hurt your deal or help your deal, so you really had to develop a good sales strategy for the “jack in the pack”.  I love this one!

So, those are my four new sayings.  For the most part everyone in South Africa and India has understood my USA/Southern sayings.  The only thing that has been consistent is that nothing related to the NBA has any relevance with them except Michael Jordan, Shaq and Kobe.  Of course the first two are out of the NBA and Kobe is having a bad season!

I will close on this funny story from the Safari, Saturday afternoon.  Our guide asked us what animals we would like to see, so I said a snake.  Of course I know they would be impossible to find.  But he said we might get lucky and see a black mamba.  So I said, “oh, you mean Kobe Bryant is here?!”  My USA counterparts thought I was being a dork.  The guide said…..”Who is Kobe Bryant?!”  So, David Stern, you have some branding still to work on.

The best part was there was a local family who laughed very hard when I said Kobe Bryant, they knew his nickname was the Black Mamba.  It was not until dinner that some of USA counterparts told me they thought I had made a racial faux paux in South Africa by saying Black Mamba, as they did not know that was Kobe’s nickname!

Kobe Bryant The Black Mamba

Marty’s World Wide Sales Training Event – Post 7

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Just a quick note this morning, it is Tuesday morning March 20 for me, I am 9.5 hours ahead of most of my east coast USA readers, in Chennai, India.  Yes, you read right, nine point five hours ahead, India sets their clocks on the half hour as opposed to the hour like most other countries.  So, it is about 6:30 am for me on Tuesday morning.

We flew from Johannesburg to Dubai Saturday afternoon, leaving at 2 pm, arriving around midnight and then connecting on to Chennai around 3 am, arriving in Chennai yesterday around 9 am.  Dubai’s airport was more like a mall, full of high end shops and full of completely grown tall palm trees and other kinds of trees, all growing and blooming inside.

Chennai is in southern India, on the eastern side, down near the tip, on the water.  In fact, it’s beach is the second longest beach in the world, or so they say.

The drive to the hotel was interesting.  The roads do not have yellow or white lines for lanes or even the side of the road. Just a road, full of cars, motorcycles, buses, trucks, bicyclists, walkers and cows.  All figuring out what their lane is and constantly tapping their horn to tell the others where they are.  As we drove down, I looked out my window and watched the guy on the motorcycle next to me, and he was only about 2 feet or so to our right, and he was NOT taking his hand off the brake, ready to brake at any moment, his eyes were definitely scanning the road constantly, looking for lane shifters, people……and cows.

Yes, cows.  They are everywhere, wandering, standing, eating, looking around, even laying down.  Not your every day site for us westerners!

Chennai has lots of car manufacturers and lots of IT oriented companies.  PayPal is here, Ebay is here, Accenture is here, so there are lots of Americans in this part of town because of those employers.

The hotel, www.asianahotels.com is very very nice, not just by India’s standards, but by western/USA standards too. Great room, lobby, restaurants.  Pool on top with gym is very nice.

One last comment on South Africa.  We did an afternoon Safari drive on Saturday afternoon, and saw several groups of elephants, some came as close as ten feet to our truck.  Enjoy!

End of the day on Safari

My new friend coming over to chat

close encounter with an elephant

Mother elephant