Being Phileas Fogg, Day 2

September 8, 2007

After a peaceful flight, and a short sleep, we landed at 4.30AM in Bangalore. Getting through immigration in Indian airports is always a unique experience, but this I time I really flew throw passport control and customs, especially since I only had carry on luggage. Note to self: never check-in luggage.

The problem was outside. My driver from Le Méridean was not there. There was another driver from the hotel waiting, but for another guest. I had to wait. And after more than 10 hours on a plane, with little sleep, I was wondering why I had to wait for my driver. Anyway, after a few calls, he did finally show up, claiming he had had trouble parking. I mean, how difficult is it parking at 4.30AM in an almost empty car park? No tip.

On the way to the hotel I noticed how different Bangalore is from New Delhi. Whereas New Delhi is all upside down, full of works, cows, and messy as hell, Bangalore is relative tidy and developed. Even the thousands of trucks cruising during the night in New Delhi, since they are limited during the day, were not present in Bangalore.

I managed to catch an hour of sleep until going into the office. The hotel is alright, but I would not recommend it. You really don't get much for your money, and there are better options in Bangalore, which actually happen to be closer to both Yahoo! offices in MGR and EGL. As much as I normally like both Le Méridean and Sheratons, this one simply does not cut it. The rooms were not very clean, some light bulbs were blown off, and you can smell the kitchen from the rooms. Also the shower-in-bath does not cut it, with barely any pressure and water getting all over the place.

The day at the EGL office was really good and productive. It's always inspiring to meet the teams, and this time was no different. The facilities are also really good. It feels like being back in Sunnyvale.

On the way back I stopped by the State Cottage Emporium in MG Road, an (allegedly) safe place to shop for foreigners, with marked prices. Well, after bargaining a 25% discount on a traditional necklace, and walking out proudly, I feel strange at such a discount, and I am not sure whether I have been an artist of negotiation, or really, really, stupid.

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