November 5, 1997
I was awakened around 2:00a.m. by the smell of something burning. It was apparently coming from outside since It dissipated quickly. I later found out that if the air conditioning isn't running, the smells seep in from outside. I could not go back to sleep so I got up and watched TV for a while and put a CD in the PC. Around 6:30am, I was finally getting sleepy and went back to bed. I am surprised at the difficulty in adjusting to the time change. I awoke at 8:00 and called one of the other people and told them that I was going to sleep in this morning and to send a driver for me at 11:30. I was awakened at 11:30 when the telephone rang to inform me that the driver was here. Actually, he had been waiting since 6:30 because only one car was necessary this morning. I quickly showered and dressed and started for the facility.
Almost to the facility, I realized that I had left my wallet back at the hotel and asked the driver to turn around and go back, which he did. Since the driver spoke no English, and I knew no Hindi, it took a while to get this request understood. I finally arrived at the facility and at the gate was asked to step out of the car with my laptop computer for inspection. We were escorted to small office near the gate where the computer was inspected and my name and the serial number of the PC were recorded. We had each been given letters from PCS requesting the officials to allow us to bring our PCs in and out without question. This letter was read and a notation made on the letter that this information had been registered. This was surprising because we had not been inspected the previous two days.
Lunch was just being served as I arrived and today consisted of a very thick vegetable soup, made mostly of corn, more vegetable cutlets, french fries and potato chips. Liquid refreshment was again bottled water, Coke or Pepsi. The soda bottles are like the bottles used in the U.S. may years ago, and may very well be left-over, as they appear quite old.
This afternoon, Dave and I gave a presentation on our company and the technical environment and then will go to the other building to set up our E-mail as Brian had done yesterday. We are unsuccessful in making the connection because of the poor quality of the telephone service.
The drive back to the hotel after classes is during rush hour. The pollution is incredible. Dave and I nearly choke and our eyes are watering by the time we get to the hotel. The heavy trucks and buses spew black exhaust and it hangs like a haze, making it difficult to see more than a block or two ahead. There are obviously no pollution controls on the automobiles.
I have noticed that in the bathroom at the hotel, there is a drain in the floor with several mothballs in it. I have also noticed the mothballs in the urinals. Brian tells us that because there are no vent pipes for the sewer, the mothballs neutralize the odor of any sewer gas that might be present.
Dinner was at an Indian restaurant at the Tunga Hotel. It was authentic Indian cuisine and was very good. We partook of chicken, lamb, vegetables, and bread. We also tried the local beer called Kingfisher. It was quite good. We returned to the hotel around 10:30. As tomorrow is our wedding anniversary, I called home where it was already 9:00am tomorrow.
November 6, 1997
I was finally able to sleep all night and feel more normal today. Jetlag has been a problem for everyone, pretty much to the same degree, but in different ways. I hope that I am finally adjusted.
Linda Anderson and her mother are going to visit the Taj Mahal. The trip involves a two hour flight to Delhi and then a four hour drive to Agra. They will stay overnight and meet us tomorrow night at the Taj hotel in downtown Bombay. Brian has taken this trip before and says that it is a terrifying ride.
Today we are moved to a new classroom. It is much larger and brighter with better ventilation. The room that we have been in is very small and poorly ventilated and the odors are overpowering to the instructor.
We seem to be becoming inured to the abject poverty, heavy traffic, sights, sounds, and smells that overwhelmed us in the beginning and are noticing more of the smaller things. The little 3-wheel auto-rickshaws are everywhere. There are literally tens of thousands of them .. they are like gnats.
Our hosts as well as the group attending training are most gracious and very interesting people. All of the people that we have had contact with are cordial and pleasant.
For lunch, we had tomato soup and sandwiches that were made with jam, tomatoes, and cucumbers. They tasted better than they sounded.
The manuals and class materials that had been shipped early last week finally arrived at the facility today. They had been sitting in the airport waiting to clear customs. As we were looking through the boxes, I noticed a man reach up to a piece of equipment and flip a switch. I then heard a high-pitched siren-like noise. I asked what this was and I was told that this noise was used to drive away the rats.
Tonight we all wanted to rest, so again I ordered the fish and chips from room service. Since tomorrow we will be leaving for the city after the class is over, I am packing a small case for the weekend, and the rest in the suitcase. We will check out of the hotel, but we will leave our luggage here. We will leave the PCs at the facility in a locked office. Our hosts have arranged for our laundry to be done over the weekend so we will put it in the laundry bag and leave it with them tomorrow.
at the Leela. Note the mothball
cake on the floor drain. There are no
vent pipes on the sewers.
|Autorickshaws. Three-wheelers powered by motorcycle engines.
|On the road to Downtown Bombay
|Laundry facility in Bombay
|Back to Bombay, Day 3
|Bombay, Day 5