Well, I survived the flight(s), even with three hour delays on the tarmac in IAD and having to fight my way out of BLR without getting “helped” by the aggressive guys in the baggage areas looking for tips as well as not getting stopped by Indian Customs. I was completely fried once we hit the bus – sweaty, hot, etc. Then, I realized that Infosys had hired a bus with A/C – it made the trip to Mysore a lot more comfortable.
The actual trip to Mysore was a bit of an intense experience – my suburban US mindset was rocked thoroughly. I’ve been trying to prepare for it for 6 months, but I realized there really is no way I could have – it is a completely different culture. Although there wasn’t much going on at 3:00 AM, I saw a bit of a cross-section of Indian culture in still-life – ranging from families living under a tarpaulin on the side of the highway, to the seedy looking truck stops and finally to the palatial Infosys Mysore Global Education Center. They weren’t kidding when they said this stuff would take a little getting used to.
We eventually rolled into good old Plot 350 of Hebbal Industrial Area around 5:30 AM IST, had our carry-on stuff searched by Infosys Security (who had berets, military type uniforms), had our laptop serial numbers cross-checked (assets protection stuff – so they know it is our personal one, not one of theirs) and were given our room keys – where our luggage was pretty much waiting for us. I proceeded to take a shower, unpack a few things, then completely passed out around 7:30 AM (40+ hours of travel with little/no sleep does that do you). Woke up about 5:50 PM feeling a lot better. I called the parents on Skype and grabbed some food at “The Floating Restaurant” – an open-air restaurant thing with a moat around it with koi. They had a great spread and the wait staff was extremely friendly and helpful.
Tomorrow, Infosys has organized a trip into Mysore at 8 AM. Mysore is supposed to be a beautiful city, so I’m looking forward to it.
I’ll be uploading some photos momentarily – keep an eye on my Flickr site.