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An Outsider’s Perspective From The Inside

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Archive for May, 2008

George Washington Gets A Credit Card

Posted by anandrr on May 31, 2008

Just got off a call from the State Bank of India Credit Card call center:

“Sir, you have applied for a State Bank of India credit card. And you told my colleague that you already have a Standard Chartered card, and you’ve had it for 4 months.”


“You will be getting a call from our credit verification department soon, can you please tell them you’ve had it for 7-8 months?”

“No I don’t lie.”

“Oh.” <click>


Posted in Advertising, Capitalism, Credit Cards, Incentives | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Baggage Limits

Posted by anandrr on May 26, 2008

Curious incident on my flight back from SF to Bangalore. When I got to the airport and checked in, I was told that the baggage limits had changed from 32 kg free allowance per item to 23 kg free allowance. You could still check 2 bags in as always. If it’s more than that, she told me I’d have to pay. Now as it happened I did have a little more than that, and as it happened they also deemed my carry on heavier than allowed so there was some repacking required to make sure all my bags were under the wire (or close enough). Of course this got me thinking about why Singapore airlines would lower the baggage limits for checked baggage. The immediate response is to liken it to the domestic carriers in the US charging for any checked baggage let alone excess weight. But somehow that doesn’t pass muster. Surely international travel is a much higher margin business than domestic travel. There are after all no Southwests and JetBlues to contend with in international travel. In fact, it is not even clear that this move would get them much additional revenues. 50kg is still a lot of stuff, it’s unlikely that most people carry much more than 50kg. What’s more, while there might be an immediate revenue benefit by way of catching unknowing people in the act of transporting too much stuff across international borders, eventually the gig is up and travellers will just adjust and carry less stuff. Essentially what Singapore is forcing people to do is carry less stuff. But even that doesn’t pass muster. How many people used to max out at 64kg anyway? Indeed, it is probably true that most people don’t carry much more than 50kg. 50kg is after all a LOT of stuff. So what exactly was the point of the changed limit?

Posted in Airlines, Business, Incentives, Travel | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Best Ads (Updated)

Posted by anandrr on May 22, 2008

Here’s another Airtel ad that runs on Indian TV

Now I understand why the other Airtel ad features Israel Palestine instead of a more domestic dispute. I’m thinking these ads are made by an American implant in India. Said American implant doubtless identifies more with Israel-Palestine and also, it would appear, putting your hand on your heart. I mean when was the last time you saw an Indian do it in any sort of dramatic patriotic gesture. In the US of course, it’s what they all do.
UPDATE: If the embedded video doesn’t work, try going straight to the Youtube page.

Posted in Advertising, Business, Mobile Phones | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

You know you’re not in the US when (II)

Posted by anandrr on May 21, 2008

How often would you see an ad for the “abortion pill” anywhere in the US? This post might also be titled, “You know you’re not in India of 10 years ago when…”

Posted in Culture | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

On functioning brains

Posted by anandrr on May 20, 2008

This might get me arrested. But what the hell. I just read this in The Hindu. The background here is that 92 year old Harkishen Singh Surjeet, veteran Communist Party leader, is in hospital in a coma. This would be the man who sets his face against anything that might help India grow, because of course by growing we are only submitting to the Great Evil Imperialist Empire. Unless his overlords in China want us to do it, in which case we absolutely must. Indeed, he is probably one of the few people left who thinks China is still a Communist paradise.

“Though his vital organs are stable, his condition is neither better nor worse. He had seizures and was medicated for it and his brain is still functioning,”

(emphasis mine)

It practically writes itself, doesn’t it?

Posted in Capitalism, Communism, Funny, Politics | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Long Timeout

Posted by anandrr on May 20, 2008

What with one thing and another I went missing for almost 3 months. Work pressures, way too much travel, and what not. In the meantime, this blog got the short shrift. But I must write more. Once more unto the breach. So here we go. With stories about travel, eating, India and more!

Posted in Timeout | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »