Welcome to India

We got to India early Sunday morning (1am), after nine and a half hours from Frankfurt. We made our way through customs, then out to the hotel’s car through a downpour. It was hard to get a sense of the place at night, other than after the sun goes down, apparently all the traffic laws go away (along with the stoplights).
The hotel is very nice, although I’m still not used to a place where you can’t drink the water. The room is stocked with bottled water, and I’m sure I’m paying for every drop of it.
This morning (Monday), we made our way to the office by taxi. I have never seen a place where lanes and lights are almost completely ignored. The roads are jammed with smoke-belching three wheeled rickshaws, scooters, buses and taxis. It’s a mess, and I’m surprised we didn’t see any accidents.
Crossing the street is also an adventure… you have about 15 seconds to make it across a lane before the oncoming smoke-belchers run you down. There are no lights, no warnings, and no crosswalk. It’s everyone for themselves.
Unfortunately, it’s that way on the sidewalks as well. I tripped in a pothole on the way to the office, and I think I’ve sprained my right ankle pretty good.
Some interesting tidbits:
* Washington D.C. (76 degrees west) is almost exactly on the other side of the world from Bangalore (77 degrees west).
* Geographically, we’re about even with Panama, The Sudan and Ethiopia
* This is my first trip to Asia.
* This is the farthest south I’ve ever been (we’re at 13 degrees north, D.C. is at 39).
* We’re farther south that Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
* We’re in Karnataka.
* There were 80,000 traffic deaths in India in 2000, compared with 1,093 in the U.S.
* You can read more about Bangalore at Wikipedia
So yeah, I think I can say at this point that I’d much rather be in France.

1 thought on “Welcome to India”

  1. Is it everything you expected? lol
    One other thing you might note is the almost complete lack of dented up cars…How on earth does that happen? My opinion is that that are no fender-benders, only catastrophic collisions…
    Keep your eye out for a lucky 5-People-On-A-Scooter!! Double score if one is an infant under 6 months….
    I’m expecting big things outta that camera of yours…

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