Monday, September 30, 2002

I wonder if anyone is reading this......

Photos on my yahoo site as they come in.... http://photos.yahoo.com/cstatman

India Departs.

Day 5

Tuesday, 10/1, Noon Bangalore Time

We had dinner with the family of Mr. K of Chennai last night. (names have been changed to protect the innocent) The ride over was brilliant; we got a car with full AC. YAY! At Mr. K’s home, we got out, and were headed upstairs, and I was met with children hollering “boy with girls hair, boy with girls hair” Apparently the long haired, “Fabio” look is not big style here. Oh well.

Dinner was fabulous, the conversation was stirring, and once again, I learn more about the people I work with. YAY! Some of you know I carry a bit of paper in my wallet, sort of a mission statement, and part of it reads “Work should be enjoyed, my creativity valued, creating a team of co-workers close enough to be friends, developing innovative solutions to any problems…” Well, I feel I am closer than ever to this.

After dinner we head back for the hotel, to turn in an early night. We have a 6:20 am flight to Bangalore in the morning. Back in my room, I remember one of the things I forgot to type. On Sunday, when we were driving around town, and saw the jewelry shop, there were some beggar kiddos. A young boy came up to Keith, and pointed to his stomach, hand to mouth and said “I am hungry, money, I am hungry” This struck us both as a little funny, because he had an ICE CREAM CONE in his other hand! Keith pointed out the ice cream, and the kid quickly put it behind his back, and continued his mantra of “money, hungry hungry, money…..”

Tuesday morning, early rise & shine, I stretch, shower, and off to Bangalore. The airport is interesting, flying out you go through some security checks, and guess what? Spare batteries are not allowed on airplanes. The battery in my laptop is MUCH more dangerous than a stick of 12 “aa” batteries, but I had to toss them. It was difficult, cause that’s a lot of fuel for the MP3 Player, or the camera, but oh well, we need to go, so Boink! Into the trash with them, the heavy duty, industrial alkaline ones. Damn.

Uneventful and quick flight, we land in Bangalore and lunch at the West End Hotel. This is the India I pictured in my mind’s eye. Balconies, terraces, villas, white paint, red trim, plants, gardens, guys dressed in turbans, I kept waiting for the British Army Colonel to come out in a pith helmet and slug back some gin & tonics. And breakfast? OH MY goodness. Fruits, steamed and fresh, these tiny chicken sausages I am developing an affinity for, some breaded chicken “croquets” toast, coffee, oh yummy. We run into some other Cisco folks, on other business, exchange conversation, and I wish I had some business cards, oh well.

Back in the car, we drive past one Cisco site, with a big sign, I have Keith take my photo, then we are on our way to the second site, where our teams are based. Keith hollers “STOP” and jumps out of the car. Oh my, what on EARTH is he up to? Taking photos, that’s what! Keith photographs some of the more interesting signs, and this is a definite op. on a white wall, in red hand lettered paint is something to the extent of “do not urinate on walls, Dogs urinate on walls, not men”

The driver has no clue what is happening, but pulls over and waits, Keith returns to the car, and we get to the second site. He gives me a quick tour of the labs, and I begin meeting people, some I know, some I am just meeting. And something bad is happening. My nose, it is starting to run, my head is swelling, my eyes are itchey. I am definitely allergic to something in the air in this building, but I do not know what. I hork up a big schnozz full of Afrin trying to calm my nose, but no real luck.

They have IP phones here, AND private conference rooms, I could try to phone Sara, but I am unsure of the country codes, and cannot figure it out, and it has become too late, she should be in bed sleeping by now anyhow.

So I am meeting with folks, and conducting business, and thinking, “Oh my, I cannot breathe, I hope nothing is dripping out my nose, eeek! “ Am I allergic to Bangalore?

Waiting for lunch, more as it develops.

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