Welcome to Bollywood...What's Your Dream?

Trip Start Oct 01, 2007
Trip End Apr 21, 2008

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Flag of India  ,
Monday, March 17, 2008

Welcome to Bollywood. Everybody comes to Bollywood got a dream. What's your dream? What's your dream? Hey, Mister! Hey! What's your dream?...........

Well, I managed to get everything here but still don't know how. My luggage was actually over the limit..the first time ever, but the check-in guy took pity on me and didn't charge me any extra. I left my checked in luggage and somehow managed to get all my carry-ons to the plane without my shoulders popping out of the socket. The flight was fine and I forgot I was booked in business so that was a nice surprise. However, things are never lined up that good and once I got to Bombay my meet and greet was not there. Why? I don't know and I didn't care. It was hot and I needed to get all my crapt into something and to the hotel. After going back inside and back through departures and in some creepy back alley, I found an ATM and got money to take a taxi. Luckily the Kingfisher Airline guy was very sweet and communication issues were kept to a minimum and he helped me secure a taxi. NOW, I should have protested when I heard the grunt and groan of this thing pull out..but I held my breath and hoped that it was all part of that incredible Indian ingenuity and we would get there intact. No such luck. That damn thing grunted and groaned all the way to a complete stop. In my humble opinion, it sounded like a serious transmission problem and we were going nowhere but I kept my mouth shut as the driver tried over and over to get it going. Now, here I had more crapt than I could carry myself, the temperature had significantly risen since I left Jaipur and we were on the side of the road. However, Krishna was looking down on us and he was able to hail another taxi and I was off again. Gosh, the hotel was far from the airport and with no a/c, my face started turning all shades of pink. But I slid my shades on and sat back and before I knew it (not really) we were there. Now, I am going to cool down, unpack and get ready to go to the office tomorrow (I checked and the person I am here to see is actually going to be there tomorrow..a small victory in this vast war). To celebrate this not-so-small feat as I have discovered on this journey, I am off to find some green beer even if it is only a green bottle..Happy St. Patrick's Day to all.

Well, I arrived to the office and found that in fact my luck has not changed on this trip. I was informed that the office was closed for 4 days due to a holiday. Why I would care it was closed on Saturday and Sunday is beyond me because I do not work on weekends. But, I was a bit distressed when told they would also be closed Thursday and Friday. I am like and you couldn't have told me this via e-mail when I wrote to make sure this would be a good time for me to be in the office, your schedule is free and I will have a productive trip. Not only that but the person I came to see neglected to tell me he would be out of the office Wednesday as well. Needless to say my time in India has not been well spent and I have decided a few things about this people who work for the same company as I do (I refuse to call them co-workers as that would put us in the same category) but will refrain from writing my real thoughts on them in my blog as this is a fun, happy place to talk about my experiences (good, bad, indifferent and downright comical) not to discuss some less than worthy adversaries who wouldn't last a New York minute. That said I suddenly had 2 free days on my hands. To be honest, Mumbai or Bombay or whatever you want to call is not really a site seeing city. It is more a stopover on getting out into the real India and a place where you relax and regroup and move on. It is cosmopolitan and has great restaurants but the sites aren't much and can easily be done in a day (especially if you have my driver Rajeesh  from my last visit) so here I am wishing they had told me about the holiday and I would have left for Aurangabad a day earlier.

I dutifully took my computer and work out to the pool, where I got so enthralled in the book I was reading - A Thousand Splendid Suns - that I must admit I didn't get much work done and got way too much sun. So a bit fried (and not the way I used to get "fried" in HS), the next morning I set out to do some site seeing in The Fort district, which is where my office is but where I didn't do much more than get into and out of a taxi right in front of the office. All in all, a walk I could have done after work but interesting enough. I watched some cricket matches being played in the local park and reflected on the architecture and marveled at how the British buildings stand proud and sturdy, while the other ones stood in crumbling ruins. There is so much crapt everywhere in this country it is amazing. I want to shout "pick it up, put it away, clean your room" but know that as soon as it is moved, somebody will just come along and dump more crapt in the same spot. It seems like it is just part of the social make-up here and a consequence of 1 billion people living on top of each other without the infrastructure and mentality to support it. It just goes hand in hand with the peeing in public mentality. Men in this country from the poorest vagrant to a wealthy, educated, dressed in a suit businessman has absolutely no problem with just pulling off the road and peeing on the spot...anywhere, anytime. I bet if they started fining people for this, they would have enough in the kiddy to clean up all the crapt lying around.

So it is getting time to wind up my time here in India. All the business is out of the way and I have one final weekend getaway before heading out again. I can't say I regret coming back but I have to say I still feel like I am lacking the experience that I came seeking. I was told by everyone how gracious and hospitable the Indian people are and how I was going to enjoy my time here so much. Well if the invitations were sent, they got lost in the mail. Now I don't doubt this is true for a minute, I unfortunately just wasn't a part of it. It was kinda like being that kid in the playground that nobody will play with and you can't really figure out why. Luckily I was never that kid or if I was I don't remember it so it couldn't have been too traumatizing ... at least until now. I have to say, my time in India both this time and the last was some of the loneliest and hardest time I have ever spent my life. I suppose it gave me some time to think and contemplate and all that crapt, but in reality all I thought and contemplated was how freakin lonely I was. My sense of humor is lost on everyone over here and though I spend a fair share of time cracking myself up, it would sure have been nice to share my thoughts with someone who would get it right along with me. But that said, I wouldn't change my time here. I got to see and do some amazing things that I will never forget and am so grateful to have been exposed to. This time last year I would have told you that I doubted if I would ever see the Taj Mahal in my lifetime. Now..been there..done that =). That and so many other things. This being said as I head out for my last Indian adventure. I am now off to tie a chili pepper and lime (a good luck charm) to my suitcase for my trip to Aurangabad and the caves of Ajanta and Ellora, considered wonders of the ancient world. Til then.....Brandy
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