February 18, 2008
Ramesh Ramanathan is fuming about Bangalore’s new airport being underdesigned and underconnected (via Ajay Shah’s excellent roundup on infrastructure). As is happening far too often these days, Skimpy beat me to blogging about the main topic. However, that just gives me more stuff to discuss. In fact, I’ll make the whole post an outsider-layperson-dummy’s guide to the Bangalore airport, infrastructure design, infrastructure financing, and maybe even special check-in counters. So. Yeah. Let’s do this shit. In Q&A.
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December 18, 2007
My flatmate has moved out and I now have the entire flat to myself. This means that I now have an empty bedroom to play with. What exactly to do with this is an interesting problem. A number of alternatives have emerged:
- My father has suggested supplementing my salary by going into the
flesh love hotel trade, and renting the spare room out by the hour to young and amorous couples. This would incur investment on a new bed, and some manner of decoration, but would eventually pay for itself.
The question is how long the payback period would actually be. When I was in Shanghai in spring 2006, my utter lack of Mandarin meant I ended up checking in at the Motel 186 on Zhoujiazui Road instead of the one on Dalian Road. The Zhoujiazui Road Motel 186 was very much in the love hotel category. The biggest customer segment was university students who would take a room for an afternoon.
The problem is that university students pinch their pennies. So two or three couples would take a single room. If Bangalore customers are as bottom-of-pyramid as Shanghai customers, the internal rate of return would be far too low. Better to put the money into a fixed deposit instead of buying the bed.
- More practically, I could just shift furniture so that one room becomes a bedroom and the other becomes a study. This sounds good, but it would make carrying the laptop to bed more difficult. Right now all I have to do is remove the USB cables for the printer, the hard disk, and the mouse, and pull it two feet to the bed. So this must be considered carefully.
- I could convert it into a storeroom, except that I don’t have anything to store.
- Religion. Old time religion. Construct an altar in the empty room in which I can sacrifice small furry animals and infants. I would have to give my maid a salary hike to deal with the extra mess, though.
- Or, I could go with the nuclear option. If I sell all my mutual funds, and take on an insane level of debt through personal loans, I could generate enough cash to fill the room with playpen balls.