Published: July 10th 2012July 10th 2012
I've made it here... in one piece. Thank the deity (also known more commonly as Ina
I had a couple of ideas last night for names of my first entry. They all came to me on my cab ride from the airport to my apartment. The country (this area at least) feels similar to the Western Caribbean, with blocky, cement dominated architecture, similar food and sporadic packs of wild dogs (they're not dangerous... from what I hear). There are many things here that are direct imports from the West: one block we drove down had a series of signs for a McDonald's placed every few steps... McDonald's, 149 steps ahead! McDonald's, 113 steps ahead! McDonald's 86 steps ahead! McDonald's, on your right!
But my favorite: a sign for Hot in Cleveland, Betty White's new show (the inspiration for this post's title), which I've actually rarely seen advertised in the U.S. I guess in today's world, no matter how far you travel on this rock, you're never that
far from home.
Getting here took quite a toll: Qatar Airways figured out my plot to have my own row and bumped me to what they promised was a much
Don't worry, I won't be eating the fruit
better location on the plane. They sat me next to a father and daughter who were nice enough, but we were in an emergency exit row so even though I had extra leg room, there was nowhere in front of me to stow my backpack that I filled with goodies for the trip, so I had to put it overhead. I tried sleeping the full twelve hours to Doha, Qatar (my layover), but was interrupted by people kicking me on their way to and from the bathrooms and soda carts knocking into my left elbow. Since our plane landed 20 minutes late, I made it to my connecting flight with only 15 minutes to spare. Luckily, security in Doha was efficient (you get to keep your shoes on your feet!). I left on a Sunday night, got here on a Tuesday morning at 3 am, and slept until 6 pm, which means I haven't seen the sun in a very long time (don't ask me to do that math).
My apartment (pics posted) is as nice as expected; I've got a kitchenette, a large living room, a dining nook, desk for work, large bedroom with king-sized bed, and a
spa inspired bathroom all to myself!
Traveling within Bangalore in interesting, to say the least. Unfortunately, leaving the hotel by foot is not recommended, and there isn't much around the hotel other than furniture stores and crumbling bodegas (I'm sure they have a name for them here, but I've yet to learn it), so I will be spending quite a bit of time in my apartment. For trips other than to and from work I will have to find myself a driver since renting a car is impractical and driving in the city is pretty dangerous: red lights mean nothing, lines in the road are mere suggestions, sidewalks don't exist, and the car horn is a well developed but little understood language by foreigners. Thank god wages here are low and the exchange rate is favorable; a personal driver it is!
Work starts tomorrow at 1pm local time. At this point, I am content with my accommodations and am optimistic about this trip. I will have a better feel for how things will go the next six months in the coming days as I assess what work will entail and get a sense of what Bangalore has to
offer. More to come!
Until next time,
Also know as: TR (I'm making that happen)
Formerly know as: Travis
PS - thanks D for the blog site, it was super easy! But why isn't there a spell check?
There are more photos below