28 March 2012

Bangalore or Bust: A Travel Log (Day 7)

Author's note: For the next several weeks, I'll be posting tidbits of a travel log, which I kept during a two-week business trip (the reason I was in sporadic contact with the world recently). Enjoy!

For those who haven't yet seen the other posts in this travel log, check them out:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6

(And again, if you're interested in seeing more photos than I'm providing, check out one of my co-workers' blogs from the same trip)

Day 7, Wednesday (2/29):

Another day at the office, complete with a trip through the city traffic. It still amazes me how many people are moving around the city at all hours of the day and night, though I imagine that’s what happens when you fit ten million people into one city. I’m also surprised that my allergies haven’t been far worse than they have been, with all the pollution from so many vehicles and all the dust and dirt tossed into the air all over from the massive construction projects.

The only trucks on the road were the big ones, so here's your compact truck shot

Driving along on one of the few elevated roadways, you can look down into a shopping district on our way home from work...

A truck or a bus? You decide...

Thousands of these little shops were stationed by the roads all over town. I can't imagine how most of them stay in business with that number of stores available.

A common site, construction along the roadway. Don't drink the water, indeed!

I also have to wonder about the bridges we travel over, which somehow have constantly fast-flowing water even though there hasn’t been any rain. Actually, maybe I don’t want to wonder about that too much…

A bridge on the way to work...fast-moving full river. It never rained a single day we were there...
The lack of infrastructure planning really makes one ponder how a country with this many people could survive for this long. An elevated train system (The Metro) is being constructed, but rather than the typical state of affairs back home, where detours are formulated and alternate routes are constructed, they simply start digging up the roads to put in what they need (in this case, the support pillars) and let the vehicles sort of wander wherever they can to get around the construction. It’s quite entertaining.

Build, build, build...

Right overhead...scary!

They've definitely been American-ized...these two are supervising a hole being dug, by a third guy actually in the hole.

This evening, an ambulance came rushing along with us. With no room for any of the cars to pull over (even though no one was even trying when they could), it does make one think that emergency services would be a nightmare if any sort of mass disaster happened, where citizens would need large amounts of fire and rescue. You wouldn’t want to trust your life to this sort of response time, I don’t think.

With the traffic around Bangalore, ambulances were forever trying to get through. I would hate to have needed these guys' services...someone should do some air ambulance marketing here, stat!

Watching local news, and somewhat related to that topic, apparently there was a terror attack averted in Dehli today. This reminds me of the week or so leading up to this trip, where a bombing or two actually did happen there. Although one might be a bit frightened about the future here, I’d been told shortly after that earlier report that the distance from Bangalore to Dehli is about twice the distance from Wichita to Minneapolis. Though I didn’t confirm that information myself, my personal comfort level hasn’t been impacted all that much. I still feel extremely safe at the hotel and at the office (whose security is just as much), and the drives in between have a far greater risk of me ending up as a pancake from wayward vehicles. That said, if something were to happen, I figure I know where I’m going in the end, so why worry?
The rest of the team appears to have reached its fill of the Indian cuisine, ending up ordering pizza again for lunch. I have a feeling if they try to do so tomorrow, I may in fact have to venture back to the Indian cuisine. Love the pizza (and it’s definitely a very close copy of the ones back home), but having pizza day after day is going to have the same effect as having Indian food day after day.

Other exciting news, it was just announced that the CEO of our company’s conglomerate parent was going to be making a day visit to the local facility on Monday. What timing! It would be the first time I’ve ever seen him in person, I believe, and to think, I only had to travel halfway around the world to do it…haha.

The hotel has a dinner buffet on Wednesday nights (and Friday and Saturday, apparently), and tonight’s selection was an Oriental buffet. A welcome respite from both the Indian and the American cuisine both? Perhaps so. It was also equally entertaining with our group’s interaction with a waitress we’ve come to know here at the hotel named Meena (which means "eyes" in her native language...not "ice" as I confusingly thought she was saying the first few times...). She probably wonders if all Americans are as crazy as we are, we being her first experience with them (according to her...I have a feeling that may have just been a ruse to boost tips, haha). Tonight’s excursion was topped off by some in our group teaching her American slang, and then attempting to get her to teach them the same words in her native language. Fun times…

One of my co-workers, with our regular breakfast waiter on the left, and Meena on the right

Oh, and I also introduced her to the wonder of a Nook e-reader…even got her reading from it, with the first few lines of The Cure. Guess I should have brought a paper copy along…ha. I almost had her reading from Chronicles in the NIV Bible (what came up first), but figured that might cross some cultural boundaries that didn't need crossing that soon...probably should have, anyway...oh well.

And that's all for today...be sure to come back for the next installment...

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