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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Back to Bangalore - Here We Go Again

As I mentioned at the beginning of this month, November will be a month with a good amount of travel, including my second trip this year to India. This time I will be heading back to Bangalore for three business days, and then heading down to Coimbatore for two business days before heading back.

Initially, I had thought about taking the western route through Singapore just for the experience. However, a couple of complications arose causing me to once again take Lufthansa through Frankfurt. The first problem was that the trip looked to be about 8 hours longer each way – when you are going for a week, every hour counts. Secondly, a co-worker that is traveling with me had already confirmed the route through Frankfurt. Other benefits of the Frankfurt route include German beer, bratwurst, brezel (pretzel bread), and of course Ashley’s favorite – genuine Hairbo Gummi Bears – actually made there in the EU.

I am looking at this trip quite a bit more apprehension than my last trip. On my last trip, I did not do too well with the food in southern India. That resulted in a couple of wasted nights and going through my full dosage of Levaquin that I had successfully avoided on my first trip back in 2006. I have a couple of ideas of the specific causes to my illness – but nothing I can be sure of, so I will be a lot more cautious this trip. I will also be packing a great assortment of snacks in my carry on bag – just to be on the safe side. On a side note, any good recommendations for places in the Bangalore & Leela Palace area?

Some better news on the hotel front, I went ahead and booked myself at the Leela Palace in Bangalore. Last time we stayed at the Chauncery Pavillion and it did not rank high on my list. The Leela has an outstanding reputation and is actually 45 minutes closer to the offices I am visiting than the Chauncery. That adds up to 1.5 hours extra a day – and when you are only there 3 days, that makes a whole lot of a difference. One little difficulty however, is that the last night before I fly out to Coimbatore – the Leela Palace is booked, so as of now I am booked at the Mapple, which looks nice on the Internet. I will try to get extended while in Bangalore, we will see.

For the first time I will be visiting the city (hard to call it a town) of Coimbatore. We have some operational groups down there and it will be the first time to be able to greet them and see how they are setup. What I am really looking forward to here is that the parents of one of my employees here in the United States are in Coimbatore. They will be coming to pick us up and take us to their place for a meal. I am pretty excited about that!

While I am not overall that excited for the trip, it is coming up really quick. In fact, I leave this upcoming Friday – November 9th, land in Bangalore on Sunday, fly to Coimbatore on Wednesday, and then fly back to Los Angeles on Friday – arriving at LAX on Saturday the 17th of November. It promises to be one quick trip!

On a side note, one benefit of the trip is that it will put me over the 100,000 mile plateau and 1k Premier status on United. The only reason that this is good news is that if you have to fly a lot, you might as well get something for it.