Greetings From India

Hi everybody.  Greetings from halfway around the world.  I’m currently sitting in a hotel room in a lesser known, but still incredibly busy city in India for a work trip.

It is not going well.  I do not wish you were here.  Actually, that’s partly not true.  It would be great if someone were here with me, because even though I know several people from work, I’m very much isolated.  My bosses advised me not to try to navigate the streets because the roads are too busy and basically impassible, and besides it’s not a good idea to trust the food unless you give yourself a lot of time to adjust, and even then you need to stick with very well-known trusted sources.

Unrelated cards time

Honestly, I’ve been very anxious and depressed this whole time already.  I arrived late Saturday night for my three week trip (after about 24 hours of travel and layovers + 10.5 hour time difference) and…international airports are intimidating.  The one here was extremely so, because the design felt like an afterthought.  It was the first time I’ve gotten off a plane (normal jet) to go down stairs onto the runway.  That’s just how it works. It doesn’t lead back into the inside gates (it did in Delhi for the first leg, which is a much bigger hub).  You are walking around the various planes to get to the baggage, etc. with really no signage. I just had to follow people and hope I got it right.

Posting a few rainbows to brighten my day

Did I mention I didn’t really have any phone access as well?  So if something went wrong, and as a naturally paranoid person I assumed it would, I really had no way to let people know.  I was a nervous mess.  So, there was a shuttle from the airport to take me to the hotel, and that did not help things.  You may have heard stories of traffic in India and it is not an exaggeration in any way.  I was afraid for my life on several occasions and I hate to say it, but the streets we were on did not seem like the best of neighborhoods.  The drivers to take from the hotel to the office have been less aggressive, but still a scary experience every time.  In a sense, I think they must be the best drivers in the world to avoid collisions that should obviously be happening much more frequently than they are.  Motorcycles cut in front of everything, cars dart in and out of lanes and into oncoming traffic to get around people.  People seem to make up their own traffic rules, but everyone else also seems to know those rules.  It’s a marvel, but I’d much rather be an outside observer than an passive participant.

After all, it is monsoon season here

The hotel, from what I can tell, is one of the nicest ones in the city, if not the best.  I’m thankful my company has given me the star treatment in that way. The main 15 hour flight was great and I got to be in the executive class with one of those seats that turns into a full bed.  The hotel room is quite big and comfortable.  They say to only eat the food in the hotel for the above mentioned reasons (even when at the office, they advise we order from the hotel and have it delivered) and thankfully I haven’t been disappointed.

Although thankfully I’ve seen very little rain – only while waiting for the connecting flight

However, despite that, I’m writing right now because I have the day off from my job after getting sick.  Last night, around midnight (which would have been early afternoon for you), I started to have an ulcer — my second this month.  This is one of my biggest fears.  Sadly, it was a really bad one that lasted more than an hour, so I ended up calling in a doctor.  Shortly after I got off the phone with him, and before he arrived in the room, I vomited from an ulcer for the first time.  That certainly helped relieve the pain some, though.

These scan very blue, which is quite appropriate

So, long story short, I’m a mess mentally and physically and I still have two and a half weeks to go.  I hope I can make it.

4 comments to Greetings From India

  • P-town Tom

    Man, that sounds like a rough trip. You’ll make it. Just take it day-by-day and focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.
    Good luck!

  • “Do you know India is the only country that still has the Plague? The Plague!”

    Remember that Seinfeld episode?

    Man if my job told me I had to go to India, I’d probably consider quitting.

    Good luck the rest of the way. Stay in that hotel.

  • I’ve got a bit if fascination with Indian culture and history, but that doesn’t sound like a trip I would enjoy. Hope you feel better!

  • Jon

    Thank you all for the kind words and thoughts. It’s interesting to see the parts of the city I’ve seen from the car and hotel windows but also quite sad. Perhaps that feeling of hopelessness and privileged guilt that’s part of the issue, too. I certainly appreciate all of the benefits that living the US provides and know that the people here deserve better than many of them can get (I know that the same can be said about the US as well).

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>