If you are traveling to India

Be ready to be honked at. 

Get stuck in congested traffic where no one can move. Keep loads of buffer time. 

Triple check 360 degrees around you before crossing a road even if you have the right of way. 

If you are traveling in an auto-rickshaw or bus hold tight. They, especially, drive crazy. Even locals are pissed. 

Book a hotel on a well known site and read reviews before booking. If a hotel is cheaper then there is a reason…think. Either the location is down market or service or quality of the hotel is not good. 

If you are in an area where there’s not much happening around or internationals around, avoid wandering alone or late nights. 

Prostitution is legal that is why, I think, that there are so many rape cases in India. So, be careful. 

What you won’t find easily in India:

Cleanliness,

Tofu,

Beef,

Creeps; because people are friendly but still be careful. 

Authentic Windows Driver for Apple USB to Ethernet Adapter

No kidding, I spent so much time to find drivers for “reusing” my Apple USB to Ethernet Adapter on Windows 10 on my Surface Pro 3. I got so frustrated that I randomly downloaded something from a site and ended up catching a virus so I had to reset my surface. Thankfully it was new so there was no loss except a little bit of time.

I trust my online search capabilities and wasn’t ready to give up and finally found the drivers on Apple site itself.

TIP: Never download a driver software unless it is from the company’s actual site.

To finally make the Apple USB-Ethernet adapter work on a Windows machine, follow the steps below. After the installation you will see the WiFi converted into a wired network icon in your task bar! That’s what relieved me when I executed these steps.

How to make Apple USB-Ethernet adapter work on a Windows PC

1. Go to https://support.apple.com/downloads/macoscomponents
2. Download latest Boot Camp Support Software package (Note that their site says that it is for Windows on Mac, but actually it is for Windows on any machine – hence it works!)
3. Extract the files into a folder and then go to Boot Camp/Drivers/ASIX (Don’t try to run setup file that is present in the package – it will only give you error that it is not supported on this type of machine).
4. Once you run the AsixSetup64.exe file, you will see that your Apple USB to Ethernet adaptor is detected and you are connected to wired network through your Ethernet LAN cable.

Why I needed to connect Wired instead of Wireless?

My Linksys router sucks, the connection drops frequently, I don’t get right speed and these two issues frustrate me. So, wired connection mostly guarantees a better connection speed hence faster downloads and browsing speed.

If you face any issues, feel free to post in comment and I will try to help you!fixed apple usb to ethernet adapter on Windows in device manager

Driving in USA with a foreign license

There’s so much information about getting a driver’s license in the USA for foreign nationals or resident aliens but it gets confusing sometimes because most of the instructions given are for local people. So, I am writing this post to make it easier for foreign nationals. I am an Indian passport holder and on a work visa but you can relate a lot of information on this page for the process of obtaining a drivers license if you are an international person. Also, this is based on my experience in getting a driver’s license in the state of Washington but other states have similar process as far as I know. 

If you have just arrived to the U.S., you can use your valid foreign driver’s license to drive around in The States for a year. However, you should double check to be sure before hitting the road on your own. 

If you are going to stay within the States longer than a year then also get a driver’s license before the period of a year as that would ease up your process of getting a license. Otherwise you will have to go through knowledge test in addition to default driving test. 

I delayed since I didn’t need a driver’s license and only got a State ID to avoid going around with my passport. And since it is more than a year that I am here, I had to first get an instruction permit to drive the car I recently purchased. There’s whole another story to buy a car without having a U.S. license first that you can read here. 

With an instruction permit I can drive around but I have to have a 5 year experienced driver holding a U.S. driver license. It sucks until I get my practice done but at least I am able to drive around until I get a full driver’s license. Some states also need the person sitting with you while you carry an instruction permit to be 25 years or older. 

Getting an instruction permit was super easy – just know the driving rules and give a knowledge test by pre-applying for it online. To prepare for knowledge test, go through the practice test posted here. This site also provides a reason for a wrong answer so you know why which helps not make the same mistake again. Also, some centers allow you to give test for one price any number of times until you pass while some others charge and also have waiting time after two trials. With a one time practice of about 280 questions I was able to clear the test in the first round itself. 

Well that’s about it and I will keep updating this post as I get questions or comments or any furthe important information to add. 

Cheers and drive safe!

Spinach juice – in a healthy tastier way!

Usually healthier stuff doesn’t feel tasty but here is a good news – this is not always true! 

I just got back from gym and was willing to drink something healthy and didn’t want to have sugar or its substitute. So I took some spinach and few grapes and blasted it in the nutribullet to make a nutriblast! And this juice tastes amazing. I so love this juice. It’s healthy with a good sweetner.

  

I also had bananas but didn’t want to use banana since I want to control my carb intake and because I am also having something to eat in dinner. So just used a few grapes to make it sweet which also makes it healthy and fulfilling. 

So if you don’t like raw spinach juice in general, you should try this and it will change your mind about spinach. 

How to save money in doctors appointment in the U.S. 

I was pretty sure that I needed to see an E.N.T. Specialist and that’s what I enquired on phone before visiting through a walk in on a weekend. Weekend cost is higher in general and this was a walkin appointment. 

The nurse checked in I told her it was a deviated septum problem and she said she will have to word it like “congestion” in the nose for the doctor to examine. Then the doctor came in used some microscope and inserted in my nostrils and said there’s a swelling (i knew it was a deviated septum) and that she recommends me to see an E.N.T. specialist (i knew in advance). She said that she will prescribe me some antibiotics just to avoid what she referred to as swelling. Walking to the hospital was mere a waste of time and money. 

How to save money if you want to see a doctor?

First things first if you are unsure of your medical illness just go and see a doctor as applicable. But if you are sure like in my case and if you are sure which specialist to see call them and make sure that they have the specialist available to solve your medical problem. They should not just make you walk in and pay for giving another reference! Funny story is that I am writing this post while the doctor is getting me the prescription for today’s checkup! 

Wish everyone a good health!

Have a nutrition blast before workout

Empty stomach workout is like driving a Mercedes Benz on an empty fuel tank. With some intake of fruits an hour earlier, your workout is even more fruitful. I have been able to actively run longer than usual. You are able to burn more fat while you have energy in the body to burn it. This energy comes through the fruits which are non fat and with lots of “good” carbs that you need to for a workout. 

1 hour before workout

Add spinach blueberries banana Apple pears kiwi or anything you like

I add protein supplement too since I am a vegetarian 

I use nutribullet to make this quick blast of nutrition

I saw ad on tv but bought from Amazon since it was way easier to purchase through their app and it was just a matter of clicks

The actual site also runs offers sometimes like 1+1 but I had already had the product deliver so I didn’t want to return and pay for shipping and take that shipping efforts which would have ultimately cost me the same. 

Different fruits two times a day with an easy to use blender like nutribullet is really healthy and easy to use. Also I hate cleaning after use but with nutribullet it’s easier to clean I just put water in it and do another blast for 5seconds and it cleans itself. 

My main point is to have fruits and combinations of vegetables throughout the day which helps keep healthy. 

I have vitamin b12 deficiency and I hoping to cope up with that through this healthy lifestyle of a nutrition blast each day and feel much energetic and active these days. I am having a nutriblast made of spinach banana and blueberries while I am writing this post and I am so very excited. 

So have a nutrition blast and have a happy workout!

Aate ka shira – Homemade low calorie Indian desert

Technology can help you do anything. It can not only help you reach your loved ones overseas but also not miss the homemade food that you used to have when you lived with them! Using Skype on my Windows Phone, I did a video chat with my parents and made this delicious low calorie Indian desert at home with instructions from my mom on the Skype call. This desert is called “Aate ka shira” generally but you will find different names as you go from North India to the south and east of india to the west!

How to make low calorie desert called Aate ka shira:

It’s really easy to make with minimum ingredients required. I prefer it plain but you can add cashew nuts, raisins, etc per your choice. 

Ingredients:

1 cup wheat floor – I used multi grain wheat floor from an Indian grocery store

1 cup sugar equivalent of your low calorie sweetner. I used Stevia in the raw in powder form.

2 cups water

1 table spoon butter or oil

Procedure to make Aate ka shira:

Heat butter or oil in a pan, then put wheat floor in the hot pan and keep mixing until the wheat floor is roasted brown. Now, heat the water with sugar or low calorie sweetner and as the water starts boiling, start adding roasted wheat floor and keep stirring with a long spoon to avoid burns. Keep the heat medium to the pan and stir until the wheat is mixed properly with the water and feels like a dough. Let it cool down and serve hot or cold! You can add cashews, raisins, etc. in water just before you start adding the wheat floor to the boiling water. Some people like to add butter on the top while serving but it’s not important in case you are a weight watcher.

Feel free to ask any questions in comments below and don’t forget to Tweet a photo of your Aate ka shira with #aatekashira and #adityabajaj (so that I notice it) and post it on this page.

San Francisco Visit

San Francisco is a beautiful city with lots of things to see and enjoy. If you just want to know about the city briefly and quickly, doing a city tour is a right option for you. Within 3-3.5 hours, you get to know a lot.



With professional tours for a limited time, it works better for me that we do spend a lot of time at one spot. After knowing what all things are available and where to go, you can make a plan for next day if you have time to visit that specific place to explore more or spend more time at interesting places.

Golden Gate Bridge, Twin Peaks, Victorian houses, Alcatraz, cable cars are few of some major attractions in San Francisco. 

If you are in downtown SFO, do visit Homeskillets American eatery joint on 6th and Mission in downtown San Francisco. 

The guide in he paid city tours give you lots of information about the houses, the fire that burned down major part of the city years ago, civic center, cable cars, happening markets, food joints, etc. which is good to know. Although I am not sure how much I remember now.

An interesting fact about cable cars I learned is that there’s a moving cable in the middle track of the three tracks laid for cable cars on the streets of San Francisco, that continuously moves and the cable cars just hook it up to get into motion. This is why cable cars, do not have engines nor do they need fuel. Also, they move at a constant speed since it is dependent on the speed of the cable that is constantly moving. 

My UK Visa Application Experience

Let me start with the bottom line of this article: the experience with UK visa consulate was very frustrating and annoying. If you are planning to go to UK, have a few months in hand so you can at least hope that something will happen.

The UK visa site is misleading. It mentions 5 business days processing time for 100% completion, forums mention 13 business days and yet one can only hope of getting the visa in time especially if the travel date is within a week despite submitting the documents over a month ago.

My connecting flight is via London so I thought of taking a longer layover to enjoy the city of London for a day. And now when I am a week away from my travel, I will have to be cooked at the airport for 22 hours! A simple visitor in transit visa is taking so long.

I patiently waited for about 25 days but now when my travel date is coming closer, I was getting nervous and anxious that I might have to change my travel plan altogether since I don’t have my passport with me. I called up the customer care at UK and he confirmed that my visa isn’t ready so I decided to withdraw my application. The customer care executive was pretty nicely talking to me. I read on forums that others users had a bad experience and I believe that is because they were asking questions which were beyond the scope of the executive.

To withdraw, you need to call the customer care or if you have time you can probably email them and wait for the instructions. I was getting impatient so I called up the customer care on their UK number from Seattle, WA, USA. Waited for about 15 mins on an international call and finally was connected to the executive. I received the instructions to cancel in about 5 mins after the call. Now, eagerly waiting to hear from them and for my passport.

Lake Chelan in Washington

I have never enjoyed sun as much as I did during my lake Chelan visit. When you have a cool bunch of friends, everything is just awesome. Despite that lake Chelan is awesome! It’s good for all the ages and all groups of people – may it be family with kids, newly wed couple, friends, grandparents company or whatever. I think lake Chelan is for everybody.

Our visit to lake Chelan was pretty much spontaneous. We were thinking of where to go because my sun obsessed friends wanted to avoid the cloudy weather of Seattle during the long labor weekend holiday.

We booked a motel room 12 hours before starting for the place. You don’t need to book the hotel for the whole day as you will be spending time out on the beach, parks, etc. and you can keep the stuff in your car. There are options to stay in your own tent in parks and I would have done that if we had a tent.

It took us about 3 hours to drive the beautiful road towards the eastern Washington from Seattle. The drive is equally a pleasant journey. Carry water, fruits, and other snacks that you like to eat during the journey.

The weather was amazing. With a nutrogena sunscreen of 70 SPF, we were all protected from the sun. We straight away headed to a park which was accompanied by a beach where a friend paddle boarded, we rafted using our own raft tube and swam in the lake. One positive trait about one of my friends is that he is very outgoing he managed to inflate the raft tube almost everywhere we needed. It’s a family beach but you can still have your own good time.

Jet ski was another main fun stuff we did. The jet ski rent on weekdays are cheaper than weekends, obviously. You must book jet ski as soon as you arrive if you plan to do it during your vacation because the jet skis get booked pretty fast.