Catching Up

First off, appologies for the lack of posting this week. I’ve been working a lot, and when I have managed to keep my eyes open outside the office it has been largely in order to watch World Cup matches. On this lovely Sunday afternoon, having secured more than my average five hours of sleep, and having consumed a lovely champers brunch at the Taj West End, I thought I would endevour to get caught up before things get really hectic with my last week in Bangalore and then my week of more serious travel before arriving home, two weeks from today (or tomorrow, depending on which side of the date line you’re on). Lest you think I’m wasting my time here, I do also have a rerun of last night’s Germany Portugal match on, which I did not last for even the start of live, after a 7am start and a long day’s driving through the lovely Karnataka country side. More on that to come, but first on to more important matters, like hotel and bar reviews.

Micah in India: The FAQ

BK in the hizzayBangalore Map

In order to preemptively answer some of the questions you may have about this trip and why I’m on it, I’ve prepared a brief FAQ.

You’re in India, what?

Yeah, I’m about a week into a month long visit to India. Mostly, I’m spending my time in and around Bangalore, but my last week here I will be traveling a bit more broadly around the country, and then stopping in Hong Kong for a few days before returning to San Francisco.

What’s the deal with a month long trip, don’t you work for a living?

I do, and I am. I’m in Bangalore helping to bring my company’s new office up.

Where is Bangalore?

Bangalore is the capital of the Southern Indian state of Karnataka. That’s it on the map of India up there. If you don’t know where India is, I can’t help you.

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First Impressions of Bangalore

Obligatory cow in traffic shot

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.

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Getting to Bangalore

My bags Bangalore airport

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.
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