I’m in Hyderabad, India this week for work. (I’ll be teaching a training class all week for the employees of our Indian office.) Rather than post this as a series of tweets that nobody is going to read because I’m 12 hours ahead of them, I’ll scatter my thoughts on the blog.
I left Cedar Rapids at 1pm Iowa time on Friday afternoon. From there I went through Detroit and Amsterdam to get to Mumbai. Overnighted in Mumbai, then caught an early flight to Hyderabad. Got to the hotel about 10:00 AM India time on Sunday, which is about midnight Saturday night/Sunday morning back home. 36 hours of travel. Oof. Business class is great, but it doesn’t make the flights any shorter.
OK, I just threw away 200 words of travel narrative because I was getting tired of it, and if I was, all of you will. Instead I’m gonna do bullet points.
- Having a hotel car pick you up from the airport is the way to go. Indian road markings, signs, and signals are suggestions as best. Traffic negotiation appears to be done primarily with horns and flashing headlights.
- Didn’t see much of Mumbai – arrived and left when it was still dark – but the airport was gloomy and damp. As was the hotel.
- The difference between Mumbai and Hyderabad was stark. The Hyderabad airport is a lot newer and more modern, and it’s clear that Hyderabad has put in, and continues to put in significant effort into modernizing. It appears that they want to be known as the tech-friendly, environmentally-conscious city.
- There were people out along the major freeway in Hyderabad this morning planting hundreds of little trees to line the roadway. Which also meant lots of little piles of dirt in the right-hand lane and people standing in the road shoveling.
- The sheer number of people everywhere is overwhelming. Even at the hotel, in each public area they have a bazillion employees there to offer you assistance with every little thing. (A guy had to come out and spread a pool towel on the deck chair for me before I could sit down on it. I mean, come on.) For an introvert like me who likes to just figure things out on my own and be left alone, it’s exhausting.
- On that point, why doesn’t the hotel here have a comprehensive information book in the room? In the states, we’d have a book that gave all the details for the hotel, when the restaurants were open, amenities, etc. Here apparently I have to ask somebody. (See preceding point.) Once again: exhausting.
- After 48 hours of travel, I’ve gained an entire extra level of appreciation for Bill Murray’s world-weary role in Lost in Translation. What time/day is it again, anyway?
So that’s days one and two of my India trip. I’ve got 45 minutes more to wait before the hotel restaurant opens and I can get some dinner to try to help reset my body clock. Then it’s off to dreamland, and the first of four full days of teaching classes tomorrow.