I missed a few days of "travel blog". Sitting here in Frankfurt airport trying to think what’s happened over the last few days. I rose at 7am yesterday and went into the Pune office and did, more or less, a full days work. Jason and I then caught a 4 hour taxi ride from Pune to Mumbai for our respective flights home. Our local sub-agent met us there at some hotel near the airport. We didn’t know his name beforehand or which hotel at which to meet, but somehow this information had been passed from the guys in Pune to the taxi driver and we were met in a city of 13 million people by a friendly face wearing T-shirt emblazened by our company logo. We managed to kill a few hours with him having some beers and a long supply of sifferent starters. My flight left at 02:50 in Mumbai.
I’m sure people will think I’m telling porkies, but we saw an elephant strolling down the main downtown highway with it’s "mahout". I was too late to get the camera out and the traffic was just manic.
…….I forgot where I was heading with this blogg… Oh, yes, …time
It seems a long time since I last slept. I think I’ve been on the go for about 26 hours now. I have another hour here, 2 hours flying to Brum and then maybe another 2 before I can get through customs and get home. I guess you could say that I’m knackard, but hey-ho, it’s been a fab trip and one that I hope I’ll be lucky enough to repeat again.
The days that I missed out on my blog were mostly spent working, eating some terriffic food and shopping. Pulak, our technical manager out there, took us downtown (Pune) shopping on Sunday. It was absolutely heaving with the shopping bonanza runup to Diwali ; which starts this coming weekend. It’s the main festival weekend and a celebration of good over evil. It’s the festival of light and I’m sorry that I wasn’t there long enough to be a part of it. Perhaps next year.
I managed to grab a few bargains and authentic souveniers ; indian dresses for my daughters, a hand embroidered kashmere scalf for my wife, a soapstone hand carved "elephant within an elephant within and elephant" which I’m so pleased with. There must have been near on a weeks work of carving to produce this item and I paid a mere 1050 rupees for it – about £6. I sort of feel guilty, West exploiting the East, etc. Like I said in a previous blog, life in india comes cheap.
Well, I’m perking up a bit now… watching the world go by, all these different cultures in one place. A flight to Tel Aviv was just bording and all the jews were queueing up. The men in their wide brimmed black hats and platted hair wearing those long black robes. Japanees and Indians are milling about, the Japs looking at duty free and bargain electrical goods. I hear American accents percolating through the hum drum. Maybe it’s one of life’s mysteries as to why americans are just sooo loud ? …but of course I generalise, and I deal with quite a few yanks on a business level on a daily basis and find them nice people, sometimes a little naive on the value of other cultures maybe.
I just looked over at the departure board, my gate number has finally come up. Time to make a move… homeward bound… It’s been a great adventure.