The business trip to Bangalore started well. Aside from the exhaustion of 5 full days of back to back discussion and workshop, I have good experience of the city. Granted, there are things I didn't like but my expectation of these were set before I land in the city. So it wasn't a big deal. I knew the city is going to be really dusty. I knew that there will be excessive honking by drivers in the road. I knew that it's going to smell.
What I didn't expect, though was these:
1. cool weather - I know, I should check the weather but I didn't realize India has cool weather. Turns out Bangalore is a city 3,200m above sea level and this explains the cool weather. So it is pleasant to switch off the hotel room a/c and just opened the wide French window and get a whiff of the cool weather (ignoring the dust, noise, etc)
2. I didn't expect to see so many American companies advertising in billboards all over the city. As you leave the airport, you will come to a round about. There is a HUGE Yahoo! logo in the roundabout, as though cementing the fact that Bangalore is a pseudo-American city. As we moved on, I see Taco Bells advertisement and later, Google Chrome browser advertisement. I cannot imagine seeing a internet browser advertisement, can you?
3. I know English is widely used in India. What I didn't expect is EVERYONE speaks/understands English - even to the waiter or the guy cleaning the toilet in the office. This is a refreshing change. In Malaysia, when I want to order food or ask for a napkin, the waiters does not even understand what I want to say.. whether I say it in Malay, English or Cantonese!
4. FOOD! YUMMY! I love Malaysian-Indian food but I didn't expect to love the real thing in India. Sambar (like our dal) is my favourite along with tandorri, idlis, poori. NOM NOM NOMM!
Having said all these, the experience ended in a sour taste.
I was supposed to leave on Saturday 11pm flight. That means, I have to check out from the hotel by 12pm. I have about 8 hours to kill. After doing some quick shopping, I spent the remaining 5 hours in hotel lobby, surfing and reading. It's tiring. After a quick dinner and one hour taxi ride to the airport, guess what happened? Flight canceled! MAS flight canceled!
We were given a hotel to stay. That means another one hour back to the city, queue for hotel registration and then back to a 4 star hotel. The hotel is nice and decent - nothing like the 6 star I was in but still bearable. But it was cruel. Just cruel especially when I was so looking forward to going home.
The next day, the flight was delayed by an hour! What the heck? Is this an Indian thingy or just MAS inefficiency? I tend to believe in the latter!
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