So the day finally arrived early on Saturday morning we were in Berlin on our way to the airport, the atmosphere was electric with the excitement and the nine hours on the flight seemed to fly by. We had a good Indian movie on the plane, as our final exposure before being immersed into the real Indian culture.
Soon after midnight (Sunday morning India time)-we arrived in Bangalore. There was a slight delay with the baggage (we kind of waited about an hour!). But hey, I am from Africa and it was in some ways just like home. You could see the “westerners” in our party getting a little impatient as we waited on the baggage collection rack.
As we stepped out of the airport we were welcomed by our hosts and led to the bus. On the way walking past the rows upon rows of the famed 3 wheeler India taxis-I have attached a photo that captures the transportation situation. These 3 wheelers known locally at auto rickshaw have become a hit with the students and people are opting to use these over conventional taxis (quite an adventurous bunch we are!).
After a well deserved rest, we had a welcome reception lunch at the hotel where we were welcomed Indian style-with the silk cloths,incense, and an indian dance performance. We were then served a variety of indian dishes,an array of choices and flavours. WOW!
Later in the day,we had an introductory tour of Bangalore where we were taken through the history from the origins of spice trade,its use as a British military base up to its current role as the “silicon valley” of India. We also attended a service in a local Hindu temple.
What continually amazes me is Indias role as a land of contrasts,next to an amazing modern mall,could be a not so attractive building.The wealth and then the poverty,but one perception I got is that people are content and getting on with their day to day lives.
The bright Indian style outfits worn by the women everywhere are just lovely. Many of us have done a bit of shopping and bought some lovely indian outfits.
Here in Bangalore-the ‘silicon valley’ of India-we visit some companies in the IT sector to get some impressions of how business is doing here and pick up some learnings.Next we proceed to Pune the ‘Detroit’ of India for some industrial and manufacturing exposure.Indias industrial sector is on the up and many car manufacturers are setting up here.
This promises to be an exciting and awesome cultural experience.