My Passage To India


India eh? What a crazy place it is. Went for a few days this week on business and I have to say it’s as mad as a spoon. I travelled to Hyderabad which is on the same latitude as Bangkok so therefore of a similar heat and climate to that part of Thailand. Hyderabad airport is a thing of great beauty and not unlike Southend airport except without computers and any renovation since 1962. It was also good to see that the Indians still rock the Hillman – one of many signs of a colonial influence. Speaking of driving it is, as Dane Bowers might say, another level. The only concept that is vaguely adhered to is the notion of the road being split into two lanes with cars travelling in two directions at some point. Apart from that you can drive how you wish. Need to pull out in front of a line of moving traffic? Sure, no problem, just make sure you honk your horn. Need to overtake over take a car overtaking another car on a bend in the road? Hey, just do it.

They have Ox in the roads, 5 year old kids selling flowers at road junctions and people pissing on the streets like they just don’t care which is bad news if you are Melle Mel but good news if you like your cities chaotic and colourful and untouched by The Man. There is a lots of money flowing into this region of India and there is a clash between the new, expensive and gated developments by Microsoft and Google and those residents that have lived in the city for years. The hotels were on a par with any in the west or developed Asia but one step outside these havens and there was a sense of the real world gently being pushed aside as the dollars flow in. In London we have postcards in phoneboxes advertising services of prostitutes but in Hyderabad those same postcards offer the discrete services of intense SQL server tuition or Oracle 9i courses such is the demand on IT professionals there. Another plus with living in London is that you are more than prepared for the food which is in direct contrast to Chinese food. The food in India was delicious but not all that dissimilar to that I’ve had in London whereas the Chinese I’ve had in London, except for China Town natch, is totally different. No prawn balls, spring rolls or special fried rice to be found unless you look high and low for it but in India the curries were by and large the same. This area of India is renowned for its Biryani rather than its curries so I only had a few but all was as expected and no sign of Ghandi’s revenge on this trip either which is a plus.

All in all an experience and one I am likely to repeat as it looks like I will be handling these clients from now on. All good apart from the flights which were a nightmare from Hong Kong because there is no direct route to Hyderabad so a change there and back was required. By the way flew a ye olde Airbus on the way out which looked as 80’s as an episode of Bergerac. I was surprised we landed in one piece to be honest but as I was so tired I would of slept through the crash anyway. Airbus aside, India was very tasty.

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