Saturday, November 17, 2007

Vadodara, India

Well, the first week has flown by. But first a note. Of the 40 cables that work with my camera that I have at the house, none seem to have made it with me. Who packed these bags? I am on the fence on getting a new one to add to the collection, but I will see if I run into a cheap one. So for now, these will have to remain photo-less. I apologize.
Things have been great here. The reception at L&T has been stellar. I am working with some great people and it really has been a pleasure. I am in a cool hotel that is next to this big park. Every morning I wake up to the monkeys causing a rucus in the trees just opposite my windows. I have been running a couple of times in the park. There are many people out early in the morning.
India is amazing. The food for one has been so great! Everyone is so nice. People stop you on the street to say hello, where are you from, what is your name. Probably mostly to practice English, but Vadodara is a bit off the tourist track. The streets are insane but completely a controlled chaos. I don't think the 'Give 3 Feet' campaign would fly here. There really are no rules and you just go when you want. There aren't really lanes, you just honk and flash your lights and weave and try to avoid oncoming traffic. There are buses, trucks, cars, three wheelers (tuc-tucs), motor bikes, bicycles, pedestrians, cows, goats, and dogs ... in no particular order. There are few stop signs. The driver has been phenomenal. He is able to weave through the traffic like there almost isn't any. Leaving inches between us and a motorbike or cow. The U-turns are my favorite though (my new book title 'Learning to make a U-turn in India'). You just wait for a break, meaning about a 20 ft gap in traffic, honk like crazy and just slowly pull the U-turn forcing the oncoming traffic to stop.
We were taking to the center of the city today, which I had not seen yet and it was amazing. We just drove through today before Jay went to the airport. I can't wait to get back. It is the old walled part of the city. Old 4 story buildings, shops and vendors everywhere, wires all over the sky. I am planning on going there tomorrow to get some great photos.
Well out to explore some more. I hope this finds all of you well!