monday morning brings out the masses.
the way people talk about it, and the way the hotels are priced, you'd think bangalore would be a gleaming high tech mecca, but really it looks much more like you'd expect india to look. there are hordes of people everywhere. sidewalks look like they've been hit by bombs and wires from electrical poles dangle down to eye level. traffic stops for no man. aggressive beggars chase me and grab me and block my path. i am choked by smog and assulted by blaring horns and loud engines. a child tries to rip the coke from my hand. crossing the street here feels about as dangerous as it did in saigon. at least in saigon it seemed like the drivers made some effort to avoid me. here i get the sense they gun the engine and take aim. it's nothing that isn't managable though.
i still don't know where my office is. i walk along mg road in one direction, then the other, and still nothing. i pop into the tourist office and they tell me where the building is. apparently i had stopped just short of it when walking in the first direction.
the 13 story building is confusing. i naturally assume i should enter via the front door, but this turns out to be a citibank branch, with a large metal detector in front. the guards direct me to the side of the building. i find my company's placard on the wall and see that we're on the 11th floor. i get in the elevator, but it only goes to 8. someone in the elevator explains i need to use the outside elevator. i go back down and do a lap around the building. there is no outside elevator. there is however another bank of indoor elevators on the other side of the building, and lo and behold, those go to floor 11. i emerge and walk in the office and am surrounded by young indians who help me find my way to the office manager. the office "waiter" brings me a cup of tea and some water. i am shown around. the views of bangalore are impressive from up here. the city looks pleasant and green, though the blaring horns still find their way up this high. the pleasant outdoor balcony is just the sort of thing that would never be allowed in the states as one could, if extremely stupid or suicidal, fall or jump and die. india is much more sensible in that it is the natural order of things that the extremely stupid or suicidal do die. and so do a lot of other people.
eventaully i am encircled by everyone in the office, a good 25 or so people, all of them indian. i introduce myself and vice versa. everyone seems friendly. we even joke around. i remember no names. and so my office life in india begins.