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Old 11th November 2010, 17:46   #31
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@BBlost, you may want to consider buying this in addition. It will be very useful when you go to office to protect you shoes - Tour Master Deluxe Rain Boot Covers - RidersDiscount.com. Not necessary on the same brand, but something equivalent. The idea is to protect leather shoes from getting wet.

Good that you got a one-piece rain suit. I'm sure it is THE BEST to wear to keep you dry even in rains that pours like hell. Check out this one in addition - Tour Master Elite 2 1-pc Rain Suit - RidersDiscount.com that has some good reviews.

The one you bought is good one to balance on best of the gear versus economy. This one is sure to get you hot inside & soak you in sweat. If you want to reconsider, get a single piece rain gear made out of Gortex material. It has finely woven fabric material that allows air inside but not the water & hence will keep you stay dry during the rides.
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Old 11th November 2010, 22:47   #32
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@vnabhi: Sir, I will definitely be doing those things. Thanks a lot. I am also checking for places to drive to.

@aargee: Not yet purchased. I will be buying the stuff around 19 November. A day or two after my credit card statement date. So as to get the longest credit free period.


@dvs8tr: Thanks buddy. But I have decided to avoid Indian restaurants. If I am eating out, it will be something I don't get easily in India.

@lancer: Thanks as always.

Now for yesterday's story.

Having left office by around 5PM, I decided to get home, freshen up a bit and leave an offline message for my wife.
Left for WalMart, Mountain View.

I arrived with the sun down and into a large parking lot. The Walmart was full but not crowded. I was not hugely impressed by the store. Some of the stuff is nice, but there is nothing here that I cannot buy back home in India.

Did find some ready to cook Kitchens of India stuff with a lot of shelf life remaining. Also purchased some Mexican phulka's. This was to be my dinner later in the day.

I kept strolling around walmart. They do have a website and I feel the website covers almost everything the store has.

There was a Mc Donalds inside the walmart. I wanted to eat ice cream. A large dollop on top of a small waffle cone. Also ordered a Caesar's Salad with Vinegar dressing.
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There was a charming young girl entertaining the crowd with her lovely voice and guitar. Sitting there, watching all the families go by, my heart skipped a couple of beats missing my wife and the rest of the folks back home.

I wish they were here.

My wife would have loved the clothings sections.
My dad would have the home improvements stuff.

Anyways, as always time went on and I had to leave.
Having gotten used to the American freeways, the drive back was simple and without any emotional drama.
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Old 11th November 2010, 22:55   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Not yet purchased. I will be...longest credit free period.
Good; just keep an eye on...
- Motorcycle Superstore - Motorcycle Accessories and Motorcycle Gear
- New Enough sells motorcycle jackets, helmets, gloves, luggage, tires, parts, etc. :: New Enough (Good one)
- RIDERS DISCOUNT: Motorcycle Accessories, Motorcycle Helmets & Gear

Though you might know, but still, you may want to consider buying one of the BEST security lock from XENA Security Locks, Alarms & Accessories for Motorcycles, Scooters and ATVs. People usually choose the model from here & order through e-bay which works out lot cheaper

If there's a Chilis outlet near your stay, you may want to try there. I heard they do good serve for non-veg. They found it extremely difficult to make a veg dish for me.

Hope you're aware of Thai food & hence don't miss to taste that one.
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Old 11th November 2010, 23:03   #34
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Hey aargee, thanks.

But I will not buy motorcycle gear online. Its very important for me to wear and check the fit. In fact the stuff I buy will be worn by me for atleast 15 minutes inside the store before I purchase it. There is nothing worse than uncomfortable stuff on a long ride.

I will try and find the outsets for the websites you have mentioned. Go there and check them out as well.

I will check out Thai food shortly.
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Old 11th November 2010, 23:46   #35
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Dude Go to Craigs List dot com and buy a GPS and break free. I got a 2 week old Garmin Nuvi 1300 Series for 100$ (179$ new one). The dude was selling it as his GF gave him another top notch GPS. How long are you here for ?
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Old 12th November 2010, 20:19   #36
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Enjoy your trip! Great write up.

My personal favorites in the west coast are Rubios and La Salsa - both are Mexican fast food restaurants - I simply love the spicy salsas they have - I am sure you would enjoy them, being a Hyderabadi. :-)

I have always felt freeways are not so risky to drive on and in fact makes life so much easier. But when I decided to rent a car and start driving home from the hotel my wife and I were put up 33 miles away, all of my Indian colleagues discouraged me saying heading on to I-5 without any experience of US driving could prove dangerous! However, I had no other option but to do that - by God's grace, we were home safely.

Our initial days in the US was so eventful that it has scope for entire new story... :-)
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Old 12th November 2010, 20:40   #37
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all of my Indian colleagues discouraged me saying heading on to I-5 without any experience of US driving could prove dangerous!
I swear man! Whats with that! Happened to me too. But I guess being a T-bhpian one can't stay away from cars anyway. I got myself my car regardless. Hah! Being driven in BLR or Delhi, man, you are the best everywhere else.
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Old 12th November 2010, 21:08   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Some of the stuff is nice, but there is nothing here that I cannot buy back home in India.
First of all, great travelogue!!
Loved the pics and videos!

and you get some quality car detailing stuff at wallmart!(meguiars) if you're interested!
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Old 12th November 2010, 21:09   #39
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Regarding LHD, the easiest way to get used to it, is to always remember that the driver stays towards the middle of the road, and the passenger side towards the kerb. This is true for LHD as well as RHD :-)
So, whenever you turn, just quick check if you are towards the middle of the road, and you'll turn right.
This is the best and easiest way to get used to the LHD. I used to have the same issue when I started driving in Switzerland and this rule always helped me out.
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Old 12th November 2010, 23:35   #40
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Yesterday Night decided to drive around a little a bit. Yeah, whats new in that.

I have driven around 200 miles since I started on Sunday. This weekend will see a major jump in that figure as I have planned for Lake Tahoe on Saturday. Its around 250 miles from the hotel and is supposed to be spectacular. Since I will be accompanied by an amateur photographer friend, you can expect some nice pics.

Anyways coming back to last night. I went to Sears. Its a magical place. The clothing here costs double what it costs in WalMart. But it sure looks worth it. The fabrics are way better and look and feel great. I checked out the crossworth tools section.
Its amazing.

My eyes were bulging out of their sockets, trying to get in the sheer number of tools. Everything you can think of is there. The dog bone multiple spanner was an especially good choice. If you are looking for tools, this is a place you MUST visit. But since I have a very good collection of stuff back home, I resisted the urge to buy anything.

Then came the question of Dinner. I drove down to ABC Seafoods restaurant in a shopping complex called marketplace.

The food is Chinese. They have a couple of large tanks. Live lobsters, crabs, shrimps and fish in it.
I chose a conservative mixed vegetables with crab.

This is an expensive joint. That dish of mine cost me around 20$.

But it tasted nice. The flavors were subtle but the food was a lil oily.

While I was able to use the chop sticks in the Japanese restaurant earlier in the week, here the chopsticks were thicker and the food oily. I had to request for cutlery.

Driving here is becoming quite easy and less of a hassle.

Luckily my team is well aware of my feeling towards cars and bikes. So I don't encounter any sort of negative dismissive behavior from them.

Once again, thanks for reading and a special thanks for all your wonderful comments.
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Old 13th November 2010, 05:33   #41
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If you are looking for tools, this is a place you MUST visit.
Lowes is where you would go if you want tools of all kinds.
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Old 13th November 2010, 06:00   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
My eyes were bulging out of their sockets, trying to get in the sheer number of tools. Everything you can think of is there. The dog bone multiple spanner was an especially good choice. If you are looking for tools, this is a place you MUST visit. But since I have a very good collection of stuff back home, I resisted the urge to buy anything.
this is the magic of a consumeristic society. Americans as a society are so willing to pay for various tools that the manufacturing countries like china have no issues filing the stores to the brim with goods.

slightly OT, if you want good deals on clothes, don't forget to visit TJ maxx or marshalls. For other stuff try big lots. If you can get something that suits you, You will probably get the best prices there. Walmart brings you cheap stuff. They bring you good stuff that is not selling in market because of low demand. They are not your usual retail stores so you only get what is "available at the time".
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Old 13th November 2010, 08:36   #43
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Just back from an awesome drive to Stinson Beach. Will upload the vids in a short while. Scary and awesome rolled in one.

and guys, I am not gonna be buying clothe, tools or electronic stuff in America. The only thing I may is a netbook. That has a very simple criteria. CHEAP. I would buy the cheapest netbook I find on Black Friday.
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Old 13th November 2010, 08:48   #44
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and guys, I am not gonna be buying clothe, tools or electronic stuff in America. The only thing I may is a netbook.
and I'm sure you'll have a good set of riding gears added to netbook I guess. DO NOT, @BBlost, pls do not, miss out buying riding gears.

You don't need to consider market leaders such as A*, even a popular brand from US will be way too good for protection here.
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Old 13th November 2010, 09:06   #45
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Right ON.

Riding gear goes without saying. I don't think I can find a Snell Helmet in India. The jacket and other armour is also quite cheap here.

Netbook, simply because I wish to retire my old desktop at home and my wife would need something to check emails and stuff.

My toolkit is very well stocked for my bike.

Honestly speaking, I don't find anything here that I cannot purchase back home in India.
If photography was a hobby, then maybe a D-SLR would have been a good choice. But the point and shoot I have makes me happy.
My trusty sony handycam is decent enough.

Is there something that I might be missing here. Am not much of a shopper. Would like help in this.
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