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Published: January 3rd 2013
After a very early start at Manchester, a short trip to Heathrow and five hours in Bangalore, we have arrived in Mangalore!
We were waved off this morning by District Governor David Simpson and his wife Janet, who both came to wave us goodbye. Despite some heavy suitcases and too much hand luggage, we all made it here in one piece. My nerves were nowhere near as bad as I thought they would be and I managed to say goodbye to everybody without any tears!
The first things that have stuck me are the amount of adverts in Bangalore airport for green and environmental initiatives. It seems naive but I didn’t consider that this would be a priority for people in India. Being in Bangalore still felt like being in an airport at home, except for the beautiful Indian jewellery in the duty free! I was also very surprised to see copies of Fifty Shades on sale within the airport, obviously Twitter has spread the word over here too.
We have all withdrawn some rupees, witnessed some sunshine (something we don’t see much of!) and also had our first experience of an Indian toilet. Nicola was first to
View from my room
The rail and road bridges to and from Mangalore
go and was shocked to open the toilet door at Bangalore airport to be faced by a small drain in the ground and a hose attached to the wall. Once she pushed the door further she did see the western toilet right beside the drain! I’m sure we will see worse during the next month! After crossing my fingers through a flight on a propeller plane, we have just been met at Mangalore airport by a large group of our hosts. They decorated us with a bindi each and a garland of fresh flowers.
We travelled to Mangalore Club hotel for a relaxing evening before the work starts. The hotel was occupied by the English and the names of the honorary secretaries since 1876 reflect this; Brown, Black, Morgan, Davies, Jackson........ We were all welcomed to the club with coconut juice fresh from the coconut but the lunch we enjoyed with the hosts from D.3180 was very spicy, and I had to keep remembering to use my right hand. It is certainly different!
The view from my room on the top floor is fantastic, not sure about the beehive though! We are going to spend tonight relaxing and catching up on sleep. We are all a bit excited as we have been invited to a traditional Indian wedding tomorrow. Around 1000 guests will attend a ceremony which will last throughout the day. I am looking forward to seeing Indian culture up close and personal and sharing in the couple’s special day.
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