Saturday, August 3, 2013

Wondrous India – Part 1: The Dream

India (officially the Republic of India) is a country in South Asia and the 7th largest in the world by area. It is the second most populous country with now over 1.2 billion* people.With its cultural history spanning over 4,500 years*, and being a country with notable religious diversity, one needs to list this country to his/her bucketlist of places to visit in a lifetime. [*Data presented from Wikipedia, August 2013.]

It all started way back 2008 when I started having Indian friends. Of course, when you got friends not of the same race as you, you tend to share some insights about your culture and your place of origin. Everytime they talked about India, I am always so amazed. The dream then on setting my foot to the mentioned country never died down.

I could not travel to India spending my own funds, because the airfare alone might be very costly. But working in a global company kept that dream alive (I experienced working in Australia and Singapore because of this). And hola, an opportunity to stay for 6 weeks in Bangalore, India, came my way mid of 2013. I needed to be there as a Subject Matter Expert for a pilot conduct of a global course. And what can you expect from me? I immediately grabbed it without hesitation.

Let’s do a shortcut: multiple entry visa has been granted, ticket has been purchased, accommodation has been reserved.
On 3:00 am of June 12, 2013, I posted a message on FB greeting my fellow Filipinos a Happy Independence Day – and the location where that message was posted from? You guessed it right. India!
FB Post on 7/12
Let me just go back to some story prior my arrival in India. I took a Cathay Pacific flight from Cebu to Hong Kong (2+ hrs), had about 6 hrs layover in the Hong Kong International Airport, then boarded Dragon Air (regional carrier of Cathay Pacific) to Bangalore. ‘twas a bumpy ride. After more than 6 hours from HK to Bangalore (14+ hrs overall: Cebu - HK - Bangalore), I safely reached Bengaluru International Airport.
The drive from the airport to the hotel took an hour. Tiring wasn’t it? But it was my first glimpse of India. I never felt sleepy in the car (the hotel generously offered an airport pick-up) as I took that moment to savor India’s after-midnight atmosphere. The impression? Less people in the city streets if you compare it in the Philippines during that same time!
 I stayed in Aloft Bengaluru Whitefield, a 4-star hotel, a member of Starwood Hotel Chains, and the most accessible hotel from the office where I would be reporting to. The hotel is really decent with the most courteous and helpful staff I ever met.
L-R Clockwise: (1) Study; (2) King-Sized Bed; (3) Lavatory-Toilet-Shower; (4) Mini-bar; (5) Hallway; (6) 42" TV; (6) Aloft Room Card
I slept for a few hours, and reported to the office where i would be meeting the faculties of the training... But that is another story in this blog series.

Just watch out for Part 2: The People.