Tuesday, October 01, 2002

India Departs.

Trip Day 6 (I think)

Wednesday, 10/2, 9:15am Chennai Time

Yesterday was a mixed day, I got tons accomplished at work, but was miserable with allergies. Like Austin in cedar season, I could barely breathe, my eyes were red & watery, running nose, etc…. that part blew chunks. The good part was I met lots of people, all of whom were excited and willing to work with me. With ONE exception (who I do not have to work with) everyone else was positive and looking for action-based solutions.

However, giving a presentation in front of a room full of brilliant, inquisitive folks is particularly difficult when you are thinking “oh my god, is snot running out of my nose? Did a big snot blob just drip on my shirt? I cannot breathe!” I managed to do the presentation, maybe they think all Texans have drippy snouts. Maybe wet and cold is good, like for dogs.

After my presentation, Keith gave the first presentation in a series he is developing on accent awareness, and possible strategies to communicate better. This went over fabulously, and when he spoke in his native French-Canadien accent, the entire room was laughing like there was no tomorrow. That program went very well.

One of my co-workers, who I also consider a friend, from San Jose, asked me “So, have you crapped your pants yet?” It came from out of the blue, was totally unexpected, and made me wonder if he has a delicate stomach, or if I have been lucky.

Met with a few more people, hammered a little more email, then beat feet back to the Bangalore airport for the flight to Chennai. The security guards searched the Circus bag, but apparently, unlike the brick of batteries from the morning, they did not find anything that “had to go”. Want to guess what seats we drew on the plane? Ya, LAST row. The BACK of the bus. But Keith reassured me, sometimes they load from the front and back of the plane. Which they did, we were on quickly, and before takeoff there was an empty row, so I moved, and we both had aisle seats with some room.

Landing in Chennai was not as rough as the last time I did, but still bumpy. De-planed, found the driver, and I barely remember the trip back to the hotel, I think I slept. At hotel we were a little hungry, dropped bags in the room, went back to the bar with the singing Aussie girls, had some G&T and “starters”. Snacks have been working much better for dinner, and they were wonderful. Talked about work, dumped information I learned form my team, got more information on the dynamics and makeup of the Bangalore operation. This place is sometimes like walking the tightrope, juggling, blindfolded, backwards, while randomly being smacked by raw fish. Big ones.

To do business in Bangalore, there is a constant balance of business and social, mixed with attempting to make requests form a group that is absolutely, positively, no doubt SET in their ways, and resistant to change in case it may introduce the possibility of failure. I am amazed at how well Keith walks the rope, while knowing the wet “smack” of a raw fish is coming.
We talked smack, told stories, caused him to laugh over the one where my ex boss at the political consulting firm barfed all over lunch one day, it was a fun time. We were about ready to leave, then the Australian singing girls came to talk. I need to say this right here and now, Sara, I love you, my thoughts did not wander. Actually, my thoughts were very firm. I think these ladies may have, at one time in the past, been men.

Yep. Men. Not that they are hideously unattractive, just unattractive enough that you think, “hmmmmmm, operation or not?”

But, we were curious as to how to possible trans-gender Aussies came to sing lounge in the Taj bar. So asked for the story. Ya know, sometimes you should go with your first instinct, this was one of them. Dull story, should have left and gone to bed instead. J

But we chatted till their boyfriends came down, then for the real shock, the boys who followed these two from Australia? You are gonna love this, they were FEMININE! OMG! Fortunately the bar closed and we beat feet upstairs and to bed.

So all night, fighting with snotty nose, add in a small touch of the Bombay Flu, (the Bombay SAPPHIRE Flu) and I was not good for sleep. About 4am I started the heaves, but no relief. Then at 5, everything cleared out enough I slept well till 8:30. Packed and re-arranged, we are going on an overnight to Fisherman’s Cove since there is no work today, Gandhi’s Birthday. More as it develops, less drinking, more eating.

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