August 2, 2010

Greetings one and all from Vadodara, Gujarat in northwest India. Yesterday was a whirlwind day – the 14-hour flight from Newark to Mumbai, a good night’s sleep at the LaLiT Intercontinantal (as lovely a hotel as you’re ever going to find), then an early Monday flight to Vadodara and here I am, still alive and in one piece.

A few thoughts before I get on to work:

Everyone ought to fly business class at least once in their lives. That 777-200 I was on was jam-packed – too bad for the saps flying in coach (I can say that because I’m usually one of them!), but in business class there was plenty of space, plenty of good food and wine in abundance, and wonderful seats – all in all it made for a very pleasant trip.

Rather than sleep, I chose to spend most of the 14 hours reading “The Seven Mountains of Thomas Merton” (a great read thus far), listening to surf and tropical music on the MP3, and taking three short cat-naps that I hope would enable me to be tired enough when I got to Mumbai that I would have a regular night’s sleep and trick my body into thinking last night was really last night and not Sunday afternoon. Did it work? As of now, yes. Tomorrow? I’ll let you know.

I guess I’m just not a New York guy. The Newark airport is such an immersion into New York culture. First of all, the opinions of the likes of Paris Hilton and Nicholas Cage aside, Famous Famiglia pizza is not that great – The Pizza Place at the Wynn, Papa Gino’s, and even Rino D’s in Gilbert have much better pizza. And to sit at a bar and watch the Yankees pre-game show on the YES network (Oooh, there’s A-Rod hitting in the cage!! Aaah, there’s “Jeets” taking ground balls at short!!) made me want to freakin’ hurl.

India in the monsoon season is very cloudy, damp, and EXTREMELY muggy. In fact, the dampness follows you everywhere here.

Traveling on the roads here is quite the experience. They don’t just drive on the left side, no one gives any quarter to anyone on a motorized vehicle of any kind – everyone’s fighting for the same space, honking, barely missing each other. And seeing cattle lying down in the middle of the roads just vegging out while all the traffic veers around them takes a little getting used to. Goats too. Supposedly you’ll see camels and perhaps an elephant (the latter used for selling rides) but haven’t seen either yet.

What I’ve seen of Mumbai and Vadodara so far reminds of Guadalupe, very tropical, very green, but lots of slums and metal houses not that far away from the very nice hotels. Islands of welathy in a sea of well-to-do. It’s not that the rich are getting richer and the poor getting poor, it’s just the rich staying rich and the poor staying poor.

Not having done any homework on this, not sure how much of a threat terrorism is in the areas I’m traveling. But I will say that security is extremely tight at both of the hotels I’ve been to – every vehicle gets checked front, back, and underneath before you get too close, and everyone gets wanded. The soldiers at the Mumbai airport were stationed with automatic rifles at the entrance I walked through.

More later.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:00 | Comments Off on Greetings From India
No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Search The Site

Recent Items


September 2021
April 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006



4 Goodboys Only

Site Info