Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bangalore Update

Well, I've been in India for almost a week now and I must say it's been an excellent experience.

My initial reaction to the crazy roads and driving still stands -- it's quite simply scary the number of near misses and accidents I've witnessed. Although I wouldn't enjoy driving here myself, I have come to enjoy being a passenger all week with an hour journey each day to the office and back. I've had the same taxi driver all week and he's been laughing at my wincing at traffic incidents and whenever I close my eyes in fear!

I've seen some amazing sights on the roads; so many people hanging out of a bus that it was leaning right over, a family of 5 on a single motorbike, market traders on the pavements sleeping overnight on their food, half-built houses held up with just wooden poles and elaborate Hindu temples on every street.

"What about the food?" I hear you ask -- Oh, the food! Many of you may know that I like hot and spicy food, but I was little worried that my idea of spicy food wouldn't be in the same league as spicy food in Bangalore. The company that was looking after me (Mindtree) looked after me so very well this week, and took pleasure in taking me to different restaurants to see how this Welshman coped with ever-increasingly spicy food. Well, I'm pleased to report that my stomach is made of strong stuff indeed, and much to the amazement of my hosts I handled everything that was passed my way, and it wasn't until my last meal with the team that I actually broke out into a sweat (I blamed the faulty air-conditioner).

I was taken to some truly rustic Indian restaurants, the best of which involved eating off a large banana leaf without any cutlery. The idea is to use a "roti" (a sort of flat bread) to scoop up the food.

Messy? Yes. Good? Definitely.

To be honest, I love curries, but having them for breakfast (yes, breakfast !), lunch and tea every day for 5 days is taking its toll on my waist line - I'm having a night off with a lettuce leaf and water...

I've been in awe of the respect and courtesy I've received this week, from the bell-boy in the hotel foyer, to shop assistants and waiters. My hosts for the week have bent over backwards to ensure I am well looked after, and I am even being taken on a trip to the famous Mysore Palace tomorrow. Here is a picture of the Mindtree team that has taken care of me this week.

It's a strange feeling that a software product I created over 4 years ago is being tested and further developed by parts of this team in India. They're a dedicated group of people.

The worst part of this week has been the fact that I've been away from Gina and the kids, especially when it was Sian's 9th birthday today. Gina has been my alarm call most mornings at 7am and it's been great to hear her voice first thing in the morning. It's also fantastic to hear the kids' voices too, especially when you can hear the excitement in their voices. Well, perhaps Gareth didn't sound that excited but he's a lad after all !

I've had a fantastic time here, but now I'm looking forward to going home....

P.S. This is the 300th entry in this blog, not bad for 18 months of blogging !!

1 comments - click here to leave your comment:

  1. Hurry home Mr B!
    It's all a bit quiet without you winding up the kids with toilet humour and shouts of "Pile-on!"