060921 – Morning Pages

A note on what I am seeing and experiencing in Ahmedabad. From the lens of a people watcher and a consumer behaviour enthusiast.

9:12. Starbucks. Ahmedabad.

Last night, could not get to sleep. Kept fiddling with apps and all that. Hoping someone would give me attention. Guess this thing about loneliness is real. And it sucks. I mean I’ve never felt the need but if I am feeling it now, well, God bless me.

But then, I woke up refreshed. And better. Guess the cold is sort of gone and thus I feel more human. So all in all, it was a good night.

Yesterday was interesting. Did not do much. Killed time on random things. Spoke with Krishna about things that I would otherwise not admit. There’s something about meeting people face to face that brings out the super candid honest dude in me out. I mean I am honest most days most times but when I am face to face with people, I am even more open.

Ok. Lemme try and talk about something that I fail to understand as a consumer behavior expert enthusiast. I dont understand Ahmedabad. There are clearly a lot of rich people here. I am guessing per capita GDP would be the highest here. I am assuming all luxury brands would be here. And yet, people dont sort of spend money. I have been parked at a Starbucks for the last three days and I have never seen it more than 30% full. Maybe it’s not their culture to work from coffee shops. Or maybe people are stingy. But then these are “rich” people. Lemme talk of others.

On the other side, for all the expected richness, I see as many poor people around. I mean there are beggars on the streets. Every crossing, every intersection, every empty patch of land has people loitering around. There are numerous roadside markets that hawk the kinds of things that I’ve not seen in a long long time. The behavior of “aam aadmi” on the road is of the ones that are tentative with money. As a third-party, casual observer, I feel that things are not as hunky-dory as you would imagine them to be! And yet everyone is content.

So that.

And lemme talk about the weather here. It is hot. AF. To a point that I am literally sweating as soon as I step out of the AC. I am told this is how it is throughout the year. And yet people eat out. I mean they sit outside in the sun. They are, as a friend says, “simmering in their own juices” while they wait for food to be served to them. I dont know how they manage this. If we were in Europe, I get that people want sun and thus they do this. But we are in Ahmedabad. It’s sunny even at night. How do they even do this? Of course not that Delhi or Mumbai has any better weather. But then there are few months in the year when it’s pleasant. I dont think it’s ever pleasant here!

The last thing about this place is the peculiar absence of chemist shops / pharmacies. I needed to buy Vicks. You know, for my throat. And I could not find a chemist for a good 40 minutes. And I am in a fairly central part of Ahd. For all the food that gets eaten here by people, in the quantity they eat, it’s amazing they don’t need a chemist as often!

And finally, Starbucks. It is uncanny how Starbucks is able to offer such consistent service, experience, and ambiance at places that are not mainstream for the coffee junta. This is my third day here and I haven’t felt for a single second that I am not in a Delhi or a Mumbai. Kudos to them! Must learn from them! I wish I could see how things work at the backend. How they manage the diversity and yet offer a consistent experience.

So yeah. This is it. Time to get going with the day. Today marks the beginning of the week. So I will probably have a lot of work. And that too while I manage things in Ahmedabad.

Let’s see how it goes. Meanwhile, here’s streaks…

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 179
  • #noCoffee – 23
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 5523
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2 +1 (ease of shifting)
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 269
  • NOFAP – 5

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