Archive for May, 2007

in amsterdam

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

I’m in Schiphol airport, part way home. The airport is so nice and clean and quiet compared with Bangalore and Delhi – it’s really odd. I’ve enjoyed a few comforts – one of the first things I did was to get a sandwich (considerably lower risk of food poisoning, plus delicious bread), a cup of fantastic coffee, and some mineral water. For some reason the mineral water, even stuff like Evian, tastes really strange in India – it gets an odd flavor and texture to it once you open it, and I have no idea why that is, but it’s quite unpleasant sometimes.

Anyway it’s a good thing that the airport is so nice because I’m hanging out here for over six hours. It turns out that there was an earlier flight from here to Minneapolis, but the work travel system didn’t show it up. I’ve had a bit of a trek round the airport shopping, and got some good Dutch cheese and chocolate. My dad used to bring back Dutch chocolate for us when he would visit his family in Holland, so I thought it would be a fun thing to do for Toby.

Right now I’m sitting next to a big window getting some daylight. I spent quite a lot of time reading a great book – The Historian – but thought it was time for a break to do some computer stuff. There are some massive 747s outside – there’s a China Airlines one right now, plus an Eva Air (which I’d never heard of before). A little earlier there was a Malaysia Airways 747 in “hibiscus” livery which is so over-the-top that loads of people were taking pictures of it.

leaving bangalore

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

Just getting ready to fly home – I’m in Bangalore airport (this post will be up once I have network access). Pretty nice day today – I slept over 10 hours last night which was very much needed, then one of the folks in the office here took me out to Commercial Street for some shopping, where I got something fun for Toby and Emma. The street was really busy, lots of stores big and small and loads of traffic and people. A little disconcerting as usual to have beggars so in your face, sometimes tugging on your arm as you’re walking along. It was certainly good to be outside for a bit, having spent pretty much the whole week either in the office, in the car, or asleep in my hotel.

The airport itself is, like so many public spaces here, completely packed, kind of smelly, and really noisy. The PA announcements are just slightly too loud and incessant. I guess they’re doing their best but it’s pretty chaotic. Plus lots of mosquitoes. Security seems officious but lax at the same time – I didn’t have to show ID at all and nobody seemed to notice that I have a tube of toothpaste in my bag – this would never get through in the US or Europe.

So it’s a 2.5 hour flight to New Delhi, then 3 hours to change terminals and planes, then 9 hours to Amsterdam, then over 6 hours waiting for the next flight, then 9 hours to home. Can’t wait to see Emma and Toby. This has been a good trip and very worthwhile from a work point of view, but it’s hard to be away. I would love to bring them here one day, there were a lot of spouses and kids at the hotel so I guess it’s not too hard to do – maybe one day. I think Toby would really enjoy it here.

UPDATE: I called Emma and Toby just as I was getting on the plane at Bangalore. It struck me then that I called them at (their time) about 8:30am Saturday and will not get in to Minneapolis till after 3:15pm Sunday.

commute

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

The commute here in Bangalore is pretty crazy as I have observed several times before. We saw a few near accidents today. But we have not had the inconvenience of having to get past an abandoned Boeing 737.

more bangalore

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

Well today I had my usual day four in India where the jetlag and the change in food caught up with me and I felt a bit rough for a while. Actually yesterday I didn’t eat anything for dinner, and was a bit shaky this morning, but not too bad since lunch. So I’m hoping I’ll be able to enjoy some good food and maybe a beer tonight.

The point of the trip is of course work, and there’s been tons of that. I was in a “summit” meeting all day yesterday from 9:30am to 8:30pm, and meetings all day today too, then I’ve got a call with Minneapolis this evening till about 10, so plenty of stuff.