Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Landing in Bangalore
Sorry for the delay, the internet connection was down at our hotel until now. Well we landed in Bangalore around 1:30am local time as expected. This flight was a little worse than the first, as this time we flew an older 747 that wasn't equipped with the technology of the Airbus. Only 1 in-flight movie for the entire cabin, and it was one I had watched at my seat during the first flight; and Leslie's personal space was invaded by an extra-large Spanish businessman seated between her and the isle.
After landing we proceeded to Immigration: 15 lines, 12-15 persons deep each. After getting our visas stamped we headed to baggage claim, and in typical dramatic fashion for us, our's were the last bags to appear after waiting for about 30 minutes. We exchanged some money then headed for customs, where they basically took our word for it that we had nothing to declare (we didn't) and let us pass.
Now exiting the airport through a squadron of Uzi toting security guards we found our driver. He said he'd be back in 2 minutes with the car, but he finally appeared after about 15 and after we were accosted by the gang of other waiting drivers eager to help. Now begins the 30 minute drive to our hotel. The area of Bangalore we traversed reminded me more of downtown Beirut than the revered "Silicon Valley" of India. By the time we reached our hotel it was nearly 3:30am by the time we tried to sleep it was 4:30, and after we got up because we couldn't sleep it was 6:30. At 9:00am I placed a call to Ashraya to inquire about when to show up; I was told 10:00am...