Day Four – #MumbaiInMarch

The registration desk at WordCamp Mumbai

The registration desk at WordCamp Mumbai

**Note: I realize I’m posting this after it happened, but mainly because of spotty internet and connection between devices. I’m determined to finish my day-by-day, even if it’s late!

WordCamp Mumbai finally arrived! I was so excited, I woke up much too early. I got showered, had breakfast and headed out. I walked down the street and summoned an Uber. The guy drove right by me, and then started the trip…without me in the car! I cancelled it, and got charged Rs.100. No big deal. Summon another. Got the same guy. The GPS picked up that he had parked not far down the street, so I walked over to find him and hopped in. Put in the destination again and we started off. The driver obviously didn’t speak much English and so I should have known something was fishy when the app tells me that the ride hadn’t started yet. I pulled up Google Maps to make sure I knew where I was going and got into my social media for the half hour trip. He had to pull over at one point because Uber called him to make sure that I was the right trip. I confirmed that I was and he carried on. When we arrived, he said that the ride hadn’t even started. I’d cancelled the first one and given him a single star rating, so I’m guessing that’s why Uber contacted him. He tried to start and stop the ride, but because the distance was negligible, he would have to cancel it. I asked him for the phone and gave a reason why the ride was cancelled. He looked at me as if to ask me what to do. I’m too honest to say “The app says there’s no charge, so I’m not paying,”. But what to do? I had a solution: If pulled up the app, typed in the pickup point and the destination and pressed “Fare Estimate”. It gave me a range of Rs. 275 to Rs. 325. I showed it to him and said: “Three?” to which he agreed. I paid him the money and off I went. I’ll deal with Uber later about the first charge, but I’m not that worried about it. Why am I telling you about this? Because I almost feel finally independent in Mumbai. I can function with a mobile phone and data plan, when I either had to go everywhere with my father or hire a driver or rely on friends, family and their drivers. Wow, how times have changed. Great feeling.

I got registered without difficulty and got my swag bag. No T-shirts, which is par for the course back home, but instead, got a mug along with some stickers. Will use them on my desk!

Here are a few of my observations from the day:

·         Few (only 1) female speakers on Saturday. More on Sunday, but none were Technical from the local community.

·         2 female organizers out of 20

·         Sometimes when a woman was speaking, especially asking a question from the crowd, even the moderator started a side chat with someone else in the audience and the laughter in the room almost drowned her out

·         Moderator went to someone else’s question over me.

I realize that some of this is cultural, but I know had I been in Canada, many of these things would not have happened. Again, just my observations.

The view from my Uber ride home on the Sea Link in Mumbai

The view from my Uber ride home on the Sea Link in Mumbai

I took an uber home, and this time my ride was great and with no difficulty. When I got home, only a short time before my cousin, I went right for the computer to upload some photos, but my connection dropped out. I had dinner with the family and recounted my day. Tried again on the computer and almost fell asleep at the keyboard. I was in bed before 11 and fell asleep almost immediately.

The one big thing I learned today: I can finally be somewhat Independent in Mumbai. I can put the address into an app and they know where to go. And it’s not all that expensive for the few days I’m here. So liberating.

Photos – #MumbaiInMarch

I think I've got most of them...


Day Three – #MumbaiInMarch

Been a great trip so far! Spent a good part of the day yesterday at the office, mostly catching up and watching my cousin at work. Need more power and wifi, buy it will sort itself out soon enough.

Met with my friend Yash last night for drinks and then dinner with his sister and her husband. We started off at the Barking Deer, a microbrewery run by a guy from Vermont, where Yash is known as soon as he comes in the door by at least three guys and has his beer served to him in a mug with his name on it. I tried a red wine called “Satori”. It’s an Indian wine, but the name in Japanese translates to ” Moment of enlightenment “. So of course I have to try it. Even had a flavour of spice to it.

After, we head over to Phoenix for dinner at a seafood restaurant. I’m very picky when it comes to seafood, but I have to admit that I tried everything they had; fish, prawns, even crab. The company was delightful and we are guessing that it’s been about 20 years since I saw her last. This is a great trip. We talked for hours on everything from what’s going on in India to websites and app development to our parents. Understand, our fathers have known each other for 60 plus years. Looks like the next generation is following in their footsteps and having a blast.

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Today we went shopping and got some outfits. Just need to find some matching pieces and get the rest of my shopping done. Most likely Tuesday and it will be plentiful!

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I’m still having trouble with power and wifi but I’m getting my SIM this evening so I should have better connection with everyone this weekend coming. Will also post photos and more when I get solid power and wifi.

After work today, we’re going to the gym and I’ll have a swim. Tonight, I think we’re going to a movie after dinner. Tomorrow, WordCamp Mumbai!

Day Two – #MumbaiInMarch

Trying to keep the load on what wifi I have to a minimum, so I may not upload all of the photos I’m taking right away and embedding them directly from my drive. Learning as I go.

So, to make you all jealous, this is the view from the sitting room where I’m staying:

The temperature is currently sitting at 33 celcius. We don’t even go out in this temperature!

This was on my drive earlier today.:

Notice the temple on the water!

Went with my cousin Shilpa to a store to pick out some fabric that she makes into amazing out fits. While I can’t show you those outfits, wanted to show you some of what I saw while it’s still fresh in my mind:

And this is from her office:

Wanted to get a few things out there and make sure I keep up with my promise. Might post more later, but here is just part of my first real day on the ground. Dinner with friends later!

Day One – Arrival in Mumbai #MumbaiInMarch

I’ve always been terrible at keeping up with these things, but after watching a vlog post by Mendel Kurland yesterday, I realized I’m the same way. I hate being in front of a camera and much of what I write about my experiences I look back on and think they’re boring. Here’s hoping that changes.

Even before I saw Mendel’s video, I had already had a chat with another friend of mine, Jo, one of the founders of #DevTO the night before I left. He encouraged me to blog about my trip, which I was planning to do, mostly with photos. I said I might even try my hand at vlogging. And so I fired up my Periscope and began at the airport in Toronto. Did another one in Frankfurt, but no one was watching mainly because it was stupid early. Will try and keep it up…promise.

On the whole the flights have been uneventful. Very comfortable and even got a couple of seats to myself on the flight to Mumbai, which was really nice when I wanted to sleep and my stomach wasn’t feeling all that well. On the first flight, I ended up beside a Justin Bieber look-a-like, who actually turned out to be okay in the end. He and his class were taking a 10 day trip around Europe. The four seater that contained the two teens had me on one end and another woman on the other. When we were beginning our decent into Frankfurt, they began to talk about all the places she’d been with her daughter. I chimed in (probably uninvited as I am prone to do) with my current trip, spending time in Hong Kong and the like. I had to because this other woman was boring them to death. She didn’t seem too pleased, but I just saved that conversation. I may not be the most observant person, but I could tell that these two wanted her to leave them alone. I think I won them over in the end. I’m competitive, so sue me.

Landing in Mumbai soon. Pictures to follow!

Top 5 Website Tips for Students

Shanta R. Nathwani on top of the world

This is a presentation that I gave to the Global Business class at the Sheridan College Davis Campus a couple of days ago. Students are assumed to not have their own website at present and the intent was to give them tools not only to set up their own websites, but also help their clients make decisions when it comes to their websites. While the slide deck itself isn’t much, know that the presentation went on more than an hour with great discussions and many questions. Feel free to comment below and add any of your own, or ask more questions!

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November… Guy Fawkes Day

Remember Remember the 5th of November...

Remember Remember the 5th of November…

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of* no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli’ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England’s overthrow;
By God’s providence he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

Also remember: “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

Happy Guy Fawkes Day.

WordCamp Ann Arbor 2015 Photos 

Here are the shots from my weekend in Ann Arbor. I decided to enjoy myself and not attempt to capture every single moment, but the moments I did capture were only a drop in the bucket of the amazing fun this weekend with amazing friends.

A big thanks once again to the organizers for inviting me to speak on WordPress 102. #nomorerootbeers #wchangover

WordCamp Toronto 2015 – Photos

Here are just some of the photos that I’ve taken at WordCamp 2015. Constantly being edited and updated. Enjoy!


WordCamp Toronto 2015 Pre-Camp Meetup – WordPress 101 & 102

Welcome to WordCamp Toronto 2015! These are the slide decks I’m going to use for our Pre-Camp Meetup tomorrow night at the Sanderson Library. I hope you can join us!

WordPress 101:

 

WordPress 102:

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