Jesse’s Blog

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Chennai

Today I headed down to Chennai with Garland. I’m picking up Albert and Lara tomorrow and meeting with Raj about our backend infrastructure for Exigent.

We got to the airport about 2 hours early, which was good, because I forgot that I had the office keys in my pocket and had to call Mahindra (our driver) to turn back around and come get them from me. For some reason he had only been gone 10 minutes but it took an hour to come back! I feel bad for him.

The domestic terminal was dirty but I’m getting used to that here in India. Even so, the chairs were nice (though we didn’t sit) and there was a nice plasma screen showing a Hindi network. As we stood in line for the plane we met a guy named Peter from New York. He looked a little strewn out and I found out that, after 20 days in India, he was feeling very disenchanted and ready to go home. He had been to the major cities: Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi. Like many Americans I imagine he wasn’t quite ready for the amount of poverty and need that is everywhere here.

We walked out on to the tarmac and got sardined into a bus that took us out to the plane. I was surprised to see that the plane was actually virtually brand-new. Garland said that these budget domestic Indian airlines are sometimes less than a year old. Despite the fact that we had to pay for everything on the flight (including water), and the fact that we were delayed almost 2 hours due to air-traffic backup, our flight on Air Deccan was nice and we arrived in high spirits.
We met a nice Vietnamese girl named Chau (pronounced “choh”) as we deplaned. She taught us some Hindi she had learned, which I now forget, and Garland impressed her with his ability to count to 10 in Vietnamese. She told me she is studying Electronic Communication in Chennai… It seems like an interesting place to come to study if you’re from Vietnam, but what do I know? I’m just a gringo. She liked the pictures I was taking out the window (and I did get some nice ones), so I got her e-mail address so I could send them to her.

Garland and I made our way to the prepaid taxi booth that would take us to our hotel. The ride through Chennai brought back some memories of last March when I was here. The feel is a lot different down here, and if it weren’t for the pollution that is practically hanging in the air I might even prefer it over Noida. It is definitely a lot dirtier here, though, and I don’t know if I’d really want to stay here for a year.

We headed to Hotel Green Park which is where I’m sitting now writing this. I also wrote the last entry right before I wrote this one – but you might never know that unless I fessed up since I sneakily put yesterday’s date and time on it! And the good news is I’m not sick. Yes, folks – I can eat salad at Papa John’s. I’m stoked!

I think I’m going to get a massage at the salon here and go hang out by the pool. Tomorrow I have a busy day. Apart from everything else Selva says he is going to teach me to ride his motorcycle. On Monday, Red Avenger cometh.

I’ll post some pictures for these last two entries when I get back to the office.

posted by Jesse at 5:44 am  

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