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First night in Bangalore

9 July 2013

It is difficult to get an impression of anything after 29 hours in three planes and four airports, followed by what was probably an hour (who was counting?) in customs and baggage claim. Still we knew we were in a new place coming out of Bangaluru International Airport when we saw, pressed against a half-wall separating the entry of the airport from the street, at about 2:30 in the morning, what seemed like 100 people holding signs with the names of those they had been designated to drive away.

We have two people missing from our number due to missed connections, and I keep thinking of them shuffling out of the airport and trying to find their names on one of those myriad cards.

On the plane I read The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing, a very light mystery novel set in Delhi. Early in the novel, the main detective, Vish Puri, insists to his non-resident Indian client to get his own driver: “An educated, well-to-do gentleman such as yourself should not go round hither and thither without a good driver. Frankly speaking, sir, it does not look right.”

The bus ride from the airport was long and a bit bumpy, but the air conditioner was on full blast during the cool night. The city was dark, but there seemed to be a lot of construction going on everywhere. Yet things looked old—not historic, just old, like a city with minimal upkeep over the past 30-50 years. Miamians, think Orange Bowl neighborhood.

Today, our first full day in India, our training starts in less than an hour. Everything is so new as to demand full consciousness: oh, so this is what instant coffee powder looks like in India; oh, so this is how the lights come on in India; oh, so this is how the morning newspaper reads in India; and on and on, through each moment.

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The TGC fellows wait for our bus to pull to the curb. The man in the red jacket (you can just make him out in the horizontal photo) was holding the sign to get our attention outside the airport.

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These are views from my hotel room this morning. You can see a few construction cranes. As I type this, the sounds I hear are one part birds chirping, one part traffic (including liberal use of the horn), with a dash of construction.

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From → India travel log

One Comment
  1. Parvathi permalink

    What a good start Andy! Enjoy and continue the blogs. You (I should have known) are a great writer. I look forward to hearing all about your adventures….. Enjoy!

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