Monday, October 29, 2007

A Bcer in Bangalore, and short news comments

Apologies for the light blogging of late but its been a busy stretch at work. In the past two weeks I've been in Ottawa, San Francisco, and now this morning I've just arrived in Bangalore, India. I'm over here for work, a major high-tech company is opening a new office in this Indian Silicon Valley.

It's been a busy few days. After a tour of Alcatraz I took the red eye back to Toronto from San Francisco, managing to grab a few hours sleep on the plane. Dashed home to unpack and repack, get some sleep and then back to the airport for my British Airways flight to Bangalore, via London.

It was my first time flying BA and I have to say, while I'm disappointed not to be getting any Aeroplan points for the long trip, it was pretty good. Older planes unfortunately, a 767 to London and a 747 to Bangalore, but both were equipped with seatback personal tv, which really helped pass the eight and nine hour flights. The food was passable, but the wine in economy was complementary, that was a surprise. And the little welcome kit with slippers, eye shades and a little tooth brush and tooth paste was cute.

London-Heathrow is a strange airport, and at least the terminal I was in (4) seemed rather old and dumpy. A lot of it looked more like a shopping mall then an airport. It was weird how they don't post departure gates until an hour before each flight. And their boarding procedures were weird: it's not by row number, just first come, first serve. Not the most efficient way to board a 747 I wouldn't think, leading to a lot of congestion in the boarding area.

Landing in Bangalore I was surprised at the number of houses backing right against the airport fence line, that's certainly not something you'd see in a security-conscious North American airport. The immigration line was long but moved quickly, no questions were asked, just a cursory look, scan and a stamp.

Baggage claim was interesting. First, they x-rayed our carry-on baggage again before we entered the baggage claim hall. We also passed through a metal detector; everyone set it off but no one seemed to care. Then we all crowded into the small hall to wait for our bags. There were no signs, but it seems only one flight comes in at a time anyway, which is good because we were packed in tight. What was interesting was that they used two belts, randomly putting bags onto either one, so you had to try to watch both for your bag.

Finally, baggage in hand, I went out to find my driver and head to my motel. I'm staying out in the outskirts near the airport, so unfortunately I don't think I'll get much of a chance to see the city. The outskirts are certainly interesting though. It's a mix of old and new, prosperous and poor (more of the later), Indian and Western (passed by a Pizza Hut touting free delivery).

Driving is an adventure. Lots of scooters, bicycles, and little mini-cars. It's also left-side drive like England, I guess a throw-back to the colonial era. They drive fast, and seem to honk their horns randomly and often. Actually, I think they honk every time they pass someone, which is often. Sitting in my motel room just off the ring road the traffic and honking is quite loud.

No walk abouts to report yet. Arriving here at 6am, after checking-in, figuring out my newly acquired universal power adapter and doing a quick e-mail check I got some much needed sleep. Off to dinner soon though, really looking forward to my first Indian meal.

Meanwhile, back home

I have been scanning the headlines back in Canada though, and there have been a few news items I'd comment on more at length if I had time.

On the Blair Wilson thing, my first reaction can be summed-up as “Oh for f**k's sake!” I don't know what happened here, hopefully it's not as bad as it looks. At least he quickly resigned from caucus, that's a sign of leadership the umpteen Conservative MPs facing serious questions haven't had the fortitude to do. I agree with Red that the timing does seem coincidental, the timing certainly couldn't be worse. It does serve to blunt the Liberal attacks on the Con in and out scam, although the quick caucus resignation does highlight Con inaction and stonewalling as well. I somehow doubt we'll be able to make that distinction stick however.

So, let me get this straight, some random Liberal riding association president from Ontario quit because Dion listened to his caucus, and the majority of the Canadian population that didn't want an election, and this is news? Alrighty then. Makes perfect sense. Not.

Meanwhile, back in Conservative land, we see the Cons are threatening to sue the Liberals for saying mean things about them vis a vis their in and out scam. Now, I know Harper said he could take a punch and all, but all these attacks, every day, it's not fair! This is unfair! Do you think it's easy to abandon our supposed principles once we came into government?

Also not fair, it seems, is being expected to live-up to your promises. Such as promises to release super-important reports on the Middle East by floor-crossing used-car salesmen. Or promises to bring the PCO under access laws. Instead, Harper is hiding behind the rules he decried and promised to change to hide Wajid Khan's report from pubic scrutiny. I totally love the use of quotes by the Globe's Campbell Clark in the following graph. As I've said before, the print equivalent of air quotes:

The Conservative campaign platform promised that the party's first task would be to pass an "accountability act" that would "implement" Mr. Reid's recommendations for reform.
Ha. I'd have put air quotes around “promised” too, but that's still pretty good.

This all seems a world away though. Curry, naan bread and tandoori chicken here I come.

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1 comment:

Mike said...


You'll have to let me know how the pubs are (if any). I might be off to Vadodara in a few weeks.

Have a good trip and don't worry about politics back here...same stuff, different day.