Happily Unmarried

Friday, November 18, 2005

Meet my Roadasian

We have a dog at home. It's not a bred, doggy-shows kind of dog. It's a Roadasian (Term credit: Bharati, who has two of these. Meaning: From the roads of Asia) and it just walked in one day and adopted us. And has slept on peacefully at our door and quietly but persistently become a part of our family.

I had not really been a great lover of dogs till this one walked in. And you can't really ignore this fellow. It demands affection and won't settle for anything but the truest. It's really quite d-uh and gets its rocks off by bullying the few people who actually let it bully them. Otherwise it's a complete chicken... it even lets stray cats eat its food and walk nonchalantly away!

It takes everything that happens in the family very seriously. When we have guests, they probably get the most enthusiastic welcome from that, guys especially so. Salesmen, beggars, Eureka Forbes men are all banned not just from our home, but from our street. It really is the happiest when there are 15 people at home and it can get petted by atleast 10 of them.

It doesn't have a name. All of us call it by any name that comes easily. So everything from sweety pie to baby to sweetheart to chikki and puttu goes. Like Umsy says, it's my mom's third kid. My elephant-crazy sister will run away to the forest one day and I will get lost on the mountains. So the only one left to give my mom company will be the dog, according to Umsy.

Hmm, might even turn out true considering the reception it gives my mom every evening when she returns. We can't generate half that much enthusiasm even when we meet each other after 3 months!

For now though, it makes coming home a active exercise and much more enjoyable than walking into an empty house. And on really boring Sunday afternoons it provides free entertainment and lots of TLC... well, TL, not C.

- I


Another week has come, gone and ascended to heaven. It's been a week of contemplation on probable job offers and its repurcussions, hectic days in office and one evening of loud Bollywood music and lots of vodka. On one day I was convinced I am on my way out of Bangalore, the next not so much so. And today, not at all. It just seems like a distant possiblity.

And the moutains seem even more so, any way I look at it. There are people like DK and Joy who need their daily fix of alcohol. I am not that greedy, just an annual fix of the moutains for a whole year is all I look forward to. H had put it very nicely once, that we get through 11 months in civilization in the greed for that one month in the mountains.

I am always amazed by how easily I manage to get into the groove of life in Manali. Two days after I get there, I am catching up with everyone from the subzi walas to the aunty in the bakery with the best apple strudle in the world. And then there are Sheenu and Shannu, my adorable babies. Of course, there is also all the gossip that I get to catch up on - in the village, in the bazaar and in Burua (that has all the studs - or technos as they are called there - in the Kullu valley).

Oh! the sense of style of the Burua boys has to be seen to be believed! They have, for reasons best known only to them, decided that the Israelis have cracked the fashion code for the decade. So, loose, almost-falling-off jeans worn at knee level, with heavy, vague jewellery is the order of the day. But that does not somehow diminish any of their charms.

Ask H, she had a massive crush on a para-gliding pilot, Meharchand who offered to teach her skiing as well. Or the olympian Hiralal who is the skiing god in India who bought me a beer once. Best Godfather beer I have ever had. *Dhad dhad dhad*

*BIG sigh* A bad day in office always makes me miss the mountains. That's when I look at the Chandertal image and pomise myself I will be back.

- I

Sun and light

Two image contributions by Yogi for our blog. One is definitely a sunset in some place that has transformers in the distance. The second one, I have no clue about. Maybe we should open up a contest for people to take wild guesses. The correct one will be rewarded by a... well, we will let Yogi decide what he will give away if any of us gets it right. Game for it, Yogi?

I say it's a headlight from hell - some guy who doesn't know the concept of dipper and high beam on the roads who is headed straight at you.

- I

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Harry Potter Aur Aag Ka Pyala

It's here! It's here! It's here! Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire releases today and I'm going to watch it at the IMAX dome theatre! And I'm going to marry Daniel Radcliffe when I grow up. When he does I mean.

Ps. Miss you, I. This is one thing we should have been watching together. You can watch it with me vicariously today and in real time tomorrow. *Grin*.
Note: I’m watching it TODAY!

- H

Lay off, woman!! You are quite shameless to hit on other women's men! Have to admit, he is a total BHMB. Err, translation - Bada hokar maal banega. But, hmm... ok, I will be generous. You keep Harry from the movie and I will take Fred and George from the book.

- I

Alternate career choices

My days are schizophrenic and multiple-personality-disordered. Today it was my Thursday that completely got confused and did a Friday! Now, will someone please take my days to task and drill it in nice and good that a Thursday, or a Wednesday for that matter, is NOT a Friday. For good measure, the same lesson needs to be drilled into Monday, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday as well. And Friday can be taught to be a Saturday once in a while... or is that asking for too much?

Coming back what I am trying to do here... Considering how my day went today, the chances of me getting chucked out of my job is a more distinct possibility than ever. So, if and when I do get my notice, what can be my alternate career choices?

1) I am good at washing cars and bikes. I offered DK my car-washing services today, so maybe I can offer it to others as well for a competitive price and make a living out of that. As my USP, I can declare that I wash only imported cars.

2) I am a decent enough rider and driver... err, of bikes and cars I mean. Maybe I can offer my chauffeuring skills? And the USP could be just right driving during non-peak hours and highly entertaining driving during peak hours, considering all that I have to say to fellow citizens on the road.

3) I could become a guide in Ladakh or Manali and give out K's shack for a B&B (Bed and Breakfast, for the more imaginative minds). Maybe I can buy him all the ciggys he smokes to make up for the generous use of his shack. USP would be the stream that flows behind the house and the apple and grass / dope orchard in front. I will even throw in my super d-uh dog for company and the two-bit kitchen.

4) I could keep H's accounts and plan her trips (both of the mind and of places). My USP here is that I have done it for every single trip we have ever been on, so I have a lot of experience as well. You ok with that, H?

5) I have 10 fingers still left, after I got one mutilated in the mountains the last time around. I can go around the country sticking them in various bus and car doors, get them mutilated, sue people for disfiguring me and earn pot-loads in grievance settlements. USP? For precisely these circumstances, God gave me 11 fingers. *big grin*

6) I can continue writing, rambling, raving, ranting on this blog and maybe some generous soul who also happens to be a hot-shot publisher in some fancy publishing house like Penguin or Random House or Bantam, will come by it and will fall in love with all of it and me and offer me matrimony (soon after followed by a hefty alimony) and a million-dollar writing contract.

Sigh... now that I am done considering my wildest dreams, reality and work bites. I am headed back to my corner of the cyber world that represents 5 years of one job.

- I

Chickensoup for the bitchy soul

We moved from the 8th to the 3rd floor yesterday and between the overpowering smell of paint and Dumb New Teammate’s maddening, ceaseless banter, I didn’t know what was worse. Thank God it’s gone today. The smell of paint, I meant. DNT is still here though. For a long time to come too, I think, considering she wanted to know when she can vest her ESOPS. I still don’t think that my DNT is… errr… half as engaging as I’s DF, but I’ve never quite met anything like this in a while. After all these years, I can somehow deal with nasty, petty, bitchy, politically motivated people, but plain vanilla dumb? Plain vanilla dumb AND annoying? You can counter bitchiness with more bitchiness. But am I supposed to counter dumbness by turning on my own dumbness faucet?

The last meeting that we had with the guys from Blore, just when I was beginning to get smitten by Techie Blue Shirt, DNT dished out a string of inane ideas, topped them with a series of bizarre questions and proceeded to pepper it all with numerous inconsequential remarks. Too dumbstruck to react, too embarrassed to be alive, I just cringed in silence and was glad when we were out of the conference room. And she’s handling not one but two major properties. One of which I wanted. What were they thinking when they hired her? I mean, were they thinking when they hired her? And if I thought her professional abilities were a bummer, her personality is no less baffling. Even mono syllabic answers don’t deter her from playing 20 Questions For the Commonsense Challenged about a range of humdrum subjects.

Yesterday, after an entire day of such mind numbing small-talk, the rest of us (including the Boss) waited for her to leave and then decided to get a drink to steady our nerves. We landed, yet again, at Toto’s after braving Wednesday traffic on Tulsi Pipe Road. Beats me why a pipe is called Tulsi. I have a strong feeling it’s a misnomer. Anyway, Wednesday is the Novena at St. Michael’s church in Mahim and this route is highly avoidable.

In Toto’s, after much beer glugging and vociferous bitching about various traits of DNT’s personality, her clan, fashion sense, taste in music, abilities, disabilities, the gibberish she mouths off in meetings… we managed to move on to other, healthier subjects.

I have come to realise that when I bitch these days, I can hear a small voice in my head going, “You are accumulating bad karma. You are accumulating bad karma. You are accumulating bad karma.” But the music at Toto’s is normally loud enough to drown small voices.

And even after I got home, I decided to give I a recap and a sampler of what’s in store for her once she moves here. And more industrial grade bitching and hysterical giggling followed till late at night. It’s amazing how both I and I (I mean self and my co-blogger) can laugh hysterically about any given thing. Colleagues, other friends, strangers, family, men, relationships, married people, marriage, babies, jobs, careers, money, each other, ourselves…

At times, the bitching is so morbid and severe, I begin to worry about our respective eternal souls. (Instance from last night: “Kids shouldn’t be allowed on planes and should be checked in with animals. And it would be so much fun to watch them going around on the carousel, with baggage tags on their ears.”) And at other times, we giggle about such asinine and bizarre things that I begin to question our collective intellect. (Instance from today’s chat: “I am not made of flesh and blood and brains, you see. I must be made of export quality coir. Which is why I make such a great doormat.”)

But then, out of such mindless conversations comes our clarity. Today, I told her how tempted I was to get a reality check and back out of a long-pending plan I had made with Mr. Big. But then, I went on to add that after the moment of sanity had passed, I would hate myself for it and would start wallowing in grief all over again. So, she said something that hit me where it hurts most. On my head. “You are his best defense even with yourself.” I was so shocked that I smiled. That one statement sums up so much of my obsessive, compulsive behaviour over the past two and half years.

I guess it figures; we bitch and we giggle as much as we do just so that we can have such moments of absolute clarity. Or Absolut Clarity. Bad one, couldn't resist.

- H

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

It's a Thursday It's a Thursday It's a Thursday

It's a Thursday It's a Thursday It's a Thursday It's a Thursday It's a Thursday It's a Thursday It's a Thursday It's a Thursday It's a Thursday

Deepika came home this morning. For those who don't know, she is my elephant-crazy sister who is doing her MSc in Wildlife Biology in a remote corner of Tamil Nadu (Her course requires her to cut up rabbits and pigeons and suicidal fish and stuff them!!!!). She generally comes in on Saturdays and announces her arrival with "Chikkipoooo! Chikkani! Chikkibangari! Chikkisingari! Chikkiputtu! Chikkipoooo! Chikkani! Chikkibangari! Chikkisingari! Chikkiputtu!" And she is not referring to any of us but is having a full-fledged 3-months worth of conversation with our dog.

I am used to waking up with a heart attack at that noise, plugging my ears and turning around and going right back to sleep since it's a Saturday and I can catch up with her later. Today, she came with her usual tirade and assuming it was a weekend I continued to sleep. Later, much later, like at 8 o clock some corner in my brain woke up and created panic. It had to go to a lot of trouble though before it had convinced all other corners of the brain of the fact that was actually a THURSDAY, not a SATURDAY.

Result - I got to office late with protesting parts of brain and body that refused to believe that Saturday was still 2 days away. Speaking of Saturday, I have a very special date this Saturday with Mad Eye Moody, Victor Krum, Fleur Delacour and of course, He Who Must Not Be Named. I will be sipping from the Goblet of Fire with my partners in crime - Deepika, Madan and whiny cousin!!

- I

Watercolours - By God

Sunsets, hand-painted by God

My farewell gift in Ladakh!

The sun dips into the sea in Goa

It's all about the light

PS: Photo credits - Yogi for the Goa ones and an efficient KB-10 for Ladakh

PPS: Oops, forgot to mention Hema for the last snap. She takes better pictures than me anyday. I am just trigger-happy, she composes images.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sherley, Off Carter Road, Bandra

Happiness is… an unexpected mid-week holiday. So today feels like Monday, except it is Wednesday and that means Saturday is two as opposed to four days away. I know, it’s a pathetic thing to say in my third week in a new job... But a holiday is a holiday is a holiday.

Oinks found a new house in Sherley yesterday, which means I stand to lose the world’s best neighbour. But what the hell, it’s a bigger house in the same neighbourhood, so I can continue to pile on with her and Reuben almost as much as I already do. Her new landlord looks like he could be vaguely associated with Abu Salem, but it’s not a nice thing to say to her just now, considering that I sort of helped her find the house through Joseph, fell in love when I saw it and told her she would be a moron for not taking it.

I love Sherley; I think of it as Bandra’s best kept secret. It’s quaint in a kitsch Goaesque way, it’s just off the sea face and it has more trees and blue sky than any other neighbourhood I’ve seen in Bombay. Sherley is a place where one still sees slope-roofed, candy-pink cottages named “Thelma Villa” and “Rose Cottage” and the dialect one hears, whether it's English or Hindi, is unmistakably Mac. "What, man! I told you no! Why are doing like this and saying bad things and all?"

This is a place where one can hear kids playing “Oranges and Lemon” and see them spinning tops on Sunday afternoons when richer kids elsewhere are glued to their Gameboys and Playstations. And the older boys, both Maharashtrian and Mac, play soccer in a small playground while the more affluent teenagers race each other up and down Carter Road on their mean machines. The young women are well turned out and Mac chic, while older women still wear floral dresses, or skirts and tops with bold prints, high heels and lots of makeup. The men are reserved and polite, drink their beer, play their music real loud, but are never ever lewd or crass. And entire neighbourhoods disappear in the afternoon for siestas.

Vendors of all sorts - selling fish, fruit, vegetables, curd, cotton candy, kachoris, samosas, bhel and things I don’t recognise from the shrill sales cries - roam the narrow lanes, lanes too narrow for anything other than a bicycle or an occasional motorbike or scooter. Every lane and street is guarded by crosses placed on pedestals and they also serve as landmarks when you give directions to delivery boys from Candies or Kareem’s. Talking of home delivery, like elsewhere in Bombay, this is a place where you can order everything from grocery to booze and vegetables to cigarettes. Even plumbers, electricians, key-makers are a phone call away.

Living in Sherley means the sea is never too far away; whether it’s for a walk on the promenade, a jog in Jogger’s Park, a post-drink, late-night cigarette and cutting - sitting on one of the benches, or even a brief, soothing glimpse of the grey Arabian Sea when you are rushing to work. Especially during high tide, and a full moon, any premium you pay to live Off Carter Road seems more than worth it.

I missed Christmas in Bombay last year, but the build up itself was picture-booking charming. Carols playing on tape decks, baking fragrances wafting out of kitchens, illuminated stars strung in front of homes… but being heart broken, I had refused to revel in the festive spirit. In fact, I had hated it so much that I’d packed my bags and headed homeward. This year, I hope, I will stay. And celebrate.

Before I moved in, a few friends warned me against Bandra. The hype. The unreasonable rents. The high cost of living. And a few others had told me that it’s the best place in Bombay for a single person. Young, hip, cool. Great options for shopping, eating out and partying. Both these perspectives are true. But given a choice between a bigger and cheaper house in Andheri or elsewhere in the Northern suburbs, an address in a coveted part of South Bombay, or a studio apartment in Sherley, I’d pick this middle ground any day. I’m much too in love with Sherley with an 'e'.

- H

I, Alive

I am alive! Thanks to a cop who yelled at the right time, thanks to my bike that can't go beyond 50 kmph, thanks to Bangalore roads that won't let you go faster than -5 kmph, thanks to the decent brakes of a truck and the truck driver who wasn't 3 pegs down early in the morning.

I had a close scrape with the front of a truck this morning on my way to office. And when I say close, I mean about 3 cms apart. And why did it happen? Well, for the uninformed, at this point in time, the roads in Bangalore look like Godzilline (yes, Godzilla's mate) went on a rampage through the city while she was PMSing badly. All BMP engineers, I suspect, are quack surgeons who weren't allowed in OTs so decided to lay out the innards of Bangalore roads for the world to see, trip over, get lost and die in.

The couple of roads that are still in a decent condition, stick out like the ugly black moles sported by '80s Bollywood villians. You can't help but want to pluck them out. And if any BMP official even gets wind of a nice road anywhere in the Bangalore Urban district, you can be sure it won't be nice anymore.

Got digressed ranting... Coming to how I am still alive, a truck was on a cross-country rally at Anand Rao Circle and I was desperately trying to steer my two-wheeler to less crater-ed parts of the road. In the confusion, the truck hit the back of my two-wheeler, but managed to stop at that and not run me down. But there is a twist to that, a cop who was close by was trying to stop the truck and that's why the driver was speeding in the first place.

End of the story - The cop swooped down on the driver, the crowd had their share of early-morning traffic jam entertainment and I am still alive.

- I

Monday morning laughs by Dave Barry

Something on Dave Barry's blog that tickled me:

I just made a reservation for dinner at a nice restaurant in Coral Gables. The woman who took the reservation, who is a lot younger than I am -- I know this because everybody in the world, including recently unearthed fossils, is a lot younger than I am -- took the information, then said: "And the name, honey?" So I told her my name, and she said, "OK, honey, see you tomorrow."
My question is: If she talks this way to total strangers on the phone, what does she call people she actually knows?

- I

Of cravings and such

Shyla had a craving for 'gooey gooey juicy gulab jamuns' today. She comes up with those every once in a while. At times, she wants to have 'baale ele oota' (traditional south indian meals on plantain leaves for the uninitiated) or the bland but yum pasta at Spigha. On rare ocassions she will crave for Bombay House chaat or Chinese grub at Mainland China. Mostly, the craving is just an excuse for us to go out for lunch, to get some fresh air and catch up on gossip away from the office crowd.

There are very few restaurants on or around Lavelle Road, Church Street, St Marks Road, M G Road that we haven't tried. We are lunch buddies, partners in office gossip, members of the Hate Dumb Flunky Union and founders of the Bad Kannada Jokes Club. She is older by a decade or so, but you would never guess that when we are on one of our giggling sessions. And you wouldn't believe it if you ever met her.

And now, she is moving to a different office next week along with the rest of her team. Will miss her, miss the afternoon walks (though that hasn't happened in the last 2 months), miss the lunch dates, miss going to her corner for a break from my freak team, miss the gossip-and-giggle sessions, miss bitching to her about Dumb Flunky, miss cracking bad Kannada jokes with her... I am sure we will be in touch. But coming to office every day just won't be the same.

- I
PS: The others - Pani, Sahoo, Subba, Mohan (in short, my personal entertainment committee) - are moving out as well. But other than Subba's occasional chocolates, Pani's biting sense of humour, Sahoo's brilliant imitations of people, Mohan's wisecracks, they don't really add value to my hours in office, so I am not particularly going to miss them.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Bombay survival-kit: Part 1 - House hunt

I has gone on an overdrive and posted multiple times and it’ll be tough catching up. But then, I don’t have a sex-on-toast comp at home; she does. I’ll have to make do with the office comp till laptop dreams materialise. Mine is the prototype single-person weekend; over sleep, watch copious amounts of crap television, read, ponder, briefly wallow in mid-20s angst, cook if homesickness strikes, clean the house if OCD strikes, shop for bare-essential groceries, get hair pulled, plucked or cut at the parlour if necessary, eat out, drink some, catch a movie if possible, and basically ‘hang’ with as many single people as possible over two and half days.

Another I-didn’t-call-him-or-wait-by-the-phone-or-mope weekend gone by and I’m rather proud. And no more about that.

Saturday was productive. I went house hunting after one whole year and it was a cathartic experience. Last year this time, I felt like an diffident, clueless novice. But now, I behave like a worldly, seasoned house-hunt veteran. I don’t jump out of my skin when the broker leads me down a dingy back alley in Bandra and in to a run-down building (that might or might not have a “This building has been declared a dilapidated structure. Persons entering this property might do so at their own risk. - BMC” notice). I don’t begin to faint, cry, or both when he shows me a 200 sq feet minus “studio apartment” with damp and peeling walls, and goes on to calmly inform me that “owner is saying 10 and 50, but negotiable.” Broker parlance for Rs. 10 k rent and Rs. 50 K deposit.

I remember feeling horrified, depressed and hopeless after I’d checked many a hole-in-the-wall, for an astronomical amount, and still not found a halfway decent place. But now, I know that Buddha-like patience, poise and persistence is the key. The rest is up to God and your broker. However, here are a few tips. And I promise, no wisecracks. (what’s the point of having been through it all, if I can’t hand down these pearls, sitting in my 200 sq feet plus “studio apartment” without damp or peeling walls? By the way, the sum I pay, is not astronomical, but sizeable. But for a furnished place, just off Carter Road, and the best neighbour god ever made, it all seems worth it.

Disclaimer: These tips are for struggling single people who are out-of-towners, or newbies who haven’t had to do this before. The affluent and weathered ones can fend for themselves.

1. Collate a list of brokers who specialise in a particular location (say, Bandra) and then key them in to a text file, or an Excel sheet if you are the efficient sort.

2. Call at least ten of them, but zero in on five that you like best and stick with them. Broker loyalty is important. More is NOT merry in this case.

3. If you are seriously house-hunting, call your broker at least twice a day. Once in the morning and once end of day. It’s important that you stay on top, under, over, inside his mind.

4. Be VERY clear about what you want. Budget, size, location and other prerequisites. (furnished or non furnished, western loo, car park, elevator, separate kitchen as opposed to a make-do platform in the room, company lease et al) Be precise and concise. Too many flowery specifications won’t get you anywhere. Stick to essentials.

5. Also be VERY clear about what you don’t want. (house on a ground floor, a house opposite the landlord, curfew hours, restrictions etc)

6. About the budget, never give away your upper limit. Quote a lower figure and tell the broker you can “stretch” it a bit depending on the place. And don’t be fazed by the standard refrain: “Madam, is budget mein to kuch nahi milega.” Remember, there is ALWAYS a place within your budget. It’s a matter of looking. And looking. And looking some more.

7. Once you start looking, keep at it and set aside a few hours everyday (and some money for cab and ric fares) exclusively for this daunting pursuit. It’s a tough market out there and if you give up, slacken or lose interest mid way, chances are that the brokers will forget you, the good houses will be taken and what's worse, you might have to start all over again. I know it’s frustrating, but then, it's not for nothing that there is a 'real' in 'real estate'.

8. Once they realise you are a greenhorn in this business, it’s a given that brokers will show you a few hell holes to begin with. Stand your ground and demand better. It’s depressing, but it’s sort of like an induction everyone goes through. Once they figure you know what you want, the reasonably better places will start appearing.

9. When you see a place you like, never display glee or excitement. Appear calm and nonchalant and tell them you like it and that you would like to speak with the landlord. And then start negotiating. But if you are very sure you like a place, pay a token deposit as the good places get lapped up in a flash. Note: No one returns the token deposit if you happen to change your mind.

10. Make sure repairs, painting and other alterations are done before you move in. They rarely happen once you’ve coughed up the rent, deposit and brokerage. The brokerage is one month’s rent. NOT two months.

11. Check with the neighbours/ previous tenants about issues like water (or the lack of it), safety, leakage/flooding during the rains et al.

12. Make sure that you have full cell phone reception within the house. You don’t want to be rushing out or sticking your head out of the window when friends, family and most important, boyfriends call. And make sure the house is close to a rickshaw or cab stand. It’s important when you are rushing to work in the morning or when you want to go out to get a drink late at night.

13. When you negotiate with the landlord, drive a hard bargain. People are usually interested in high rents and low deposits. If you want to lower your rent, consider paying the rent for six or 11 months upfront and pay only a nominal deposit (say, one month's rent). If you can afford it that is.

14. Read through the rental agreement and make sure you understand the clauses. Be sure to keep a copy. Don’t agree to arbit conditions you are not comfortable with (“no male guests”, no friends staying over, curfew hours). If there are such issues, dump the place. When you are paying a premium for the most prized commodity in Bombay, you don’t want it with a zillion preconditions attached.

15. There might be many more, but this is the essential survival kit. If ever you read this, chin up and all the best. And to sign off, one last advice. Get real. Bombay is not the place for a dream house. Convenience, space and a decent location should be your criteria.

Ps. I credit my friend Dseq for a lot of the above listed tips. He’s the God of Logistics. The rest, I just learnt by trail + error, which somewhat adds up to terror.
Ps. 1 Sorry I, for hogging so much space. And sorry Yogi, for not heeding your advice. But this a subject I am good at and much passionate about. *Grin* More Bombay survival guides to follow.
Ps. 2 You can get in touch with me for a list of Bandra brokers. I don't charge a commission.

- H

I want to work in Google because...

- They have the coolest logo on the planet
- Their motto is "Don't be Evil"
- They give you one day a week to work on ANYTHING you like
- The average age of an employee is 27, so I won't feel like I am 3756 years old there
- They give free on-site haircuts and have on-site washers and dryers
- They have volleyball, foosball, puzzles, games, rollerblading (none of which I am remotely good at or even know how to play, but what the hell, I will have an option)
- They have colorful kitchens stocked with free drinks and snacks, bowls of M&Ms, lava lamps, vibrating massage chairs
- They allow employees to bring their dogs to work
- They have an on-site masseuse, and extravagant touch-pad-controlled toilets with six levels of heat for the seat and automated washing, drying and flushing without the need for toilet paper (wow! talk about Hot Seat?)
- They have people named Brin, Page, Kai Fu-Lee!
- Finally, what I think is totally super cool, employees are called Googlers! I want to be a Googler!

- I
PS: Check out this link. You will know why I am going goo(gle) goo(gle) gaa gaa