Sunday, 5 May 2013

RDU-DCA-FRA-BLR-BKK-CNX-HKT-SIN-FRA-EWR-RDU


And so it begins!  The basic outline for summer in airport codes.  And the first few of many hours in airports.  Fortunately, the Changi airport which is probably where I’ll be doing most of my chillin’ is one of the world’s greatest.  As the Travel Channel puts it “Imagine a day that starts out with a swift workout at the gym, followed by a dip in a rooftop pool, perhaps an hour-long massage treatment at the spa, with a walk through a butterfly garden to top it all off. For many, this may sound like a visit to a tropical resort; for weary travelers, it could be a layover at Singapore Changi Airport."  Unfortunately, I'm not on the rooftop tiki bar having a margarita to celebrate Cinco de Mayo but instead sitting in the middle of the floor near an unstable-table-top-charging-stations because American airports barely have accessible plugs (the first two I tried didn't even work!).
Not too much exciting to report here- the latest development regarding India is the ResLife guy dropped out because he needs gall bladder surgery- it doesn't sound like he'll really be replaced.  And in general, we were advised to prepare for the worst and recommend "plan on not having a computer at all the entire term" since last early  technological issues were exacerbated by "our IT contact being on holiday during week 1 which meant having to repeatedly explain our presence and our computer approvals to different IT people each day. Whenever a technological problem was fixed it would crop up the next day or even later the same day. I believe this came from the size of the Infosys campus - one IT person would set up computer access only to have another shut it down. This meant instructors were never able to have consistent expectations for the next day's plans. We never got an office computer, printer or classroom internet of any kind or access...”.  Currently, I'm hauling around a awkward, lumpy carry-on duffel bag filled with those handouts (another reason why I'm chained to this table and not taking advantage of walking around and loosening my limbs).  I just realized late last night you only get one free checked bag these days and my first attempt at filling suitcase was 65 lbs.  All those fifteen pounds educational fuel for the hyperactive young minds had to go somewhere! (Don't worry, I left a couple things home but packing has never been my strong suit...)
My last day in Raleigh was nice and relaxing-   went for a final run around the lake and laughed when a snail spotting stopped traffic for Asian walking-ladies.  And saw a poor guy who seemed to be walk-of-shame-ing himself home in one sock.  Sean and Alanna hosted a delectable brunch of Belgian waffles, strawberries, whipped cream with a side of a pear compote! I'm going to miss their sophisticated chef-ery... they whipped up a delicious stuffed-pepper-risotto last night too.  Besides that, I tutored and stayed busy with last minute packing and cleaning and before I knew it, it was time to go!  Speaking of time to go, I'm going wander around during my last 30 minutes before boarding even though my wander will be more of a panting/straining hobble forward as I carry lumpy bag fit for smuggling small children.  Namaste, USA!
~*~*~*Later~*~*~*
How much later?  It's hard to say.  At least my ipad knows what time it is in Bangalore because I certainly don't.  I think I arrived in the Bangalore airport around 24 hours after I arrived at the Raleigh airport.  I met up with Sam, Mindy and Tyler, who will be also working with me this summer and all of us got our bags (I actually packed very lightly in comparison and was of the few who didn't pay $100 to check a second bag!), made it through customs without getting red flagged and took off to Bangalore in a van, packed to the brim, in a situation semi-reminiscent of a family road trip.  Unfortunately, our trip to the hotel was around 2:30 AM Indian time so it was kinda hard to do much sightseeing.  However, Bangalore, the "Garden City of India", seems like a nice, quiet (relatively speaking) and high-tech city (fun fact: it was first place in India to get electricity).  I hope I'll get a chance to come back and do some sightseeing.  We did see this temple from the road, which was cool (although this is not my picture obviously).
Temple seen from the road

So we're currently at the St. Mark's hotel in Bangalore to relax and renew before our four hour drive to campus, although I might need to be dragged out of this nice hotel room.  I forgot what an excess of people they have here.  They had three guys tripping over each other to help deliver luggage, one that gave us a personalized tour of the room service menu, one that insisted on walking me to the door of my hotel and inserting the card to show me how to get in.  All of us were a little out of it after traversing time and space but I think I  could have handled finding room 306!  Hmm... so it's currently 5 AM... maybe I should actually try to sleep and start getting used to this 10.5 hour time difference.