I’ve been in Bangalore for nearly a week now, and aside from some fairly persistent jet lag and a more or less constant fear that my stomach is going to give out on me at any time, I’m having a blast. All the cliches about India are in evidence: the contrast between poverty and opulence, the ever present crowds of people, the unfathomable traffic, the rich pidgin English and and the unique and inverted seeming body language cues. My experience to date has been admittedly limited and sheltered. I’m staying in a hotel designed to look like it belongs in London or Milan, I’m driven anywhere I need to go in an air conditioned, four door car, and I spend most of my waking hours in a brand new office space that could as easily be in Silicon Valley or New York. On the other hand, my experience is hardly unique, or even uncommon, in the Bangalore of the moment. This is the sort of city you can see changing almost before your eyes, and while I’m not going to attempt to pass any sort of value judgement on that, it’s a fascinating thing to be in middle of.
I’ve come to India for three weeks of business and one week of travel. I’m going to try to document my various adventures in this space in close to real time, and probably far too much detail. So, without further ado, here is the story of how four taxis, three planes, several beers, and one swimming pool transposed me from my cosy flat in the Haight to my shmancy hotel room in Bangalore.
Continue reading Getting to Bangalore