Showing posts from February 11, 2007

Arriving in Bangalore - Paperwork

The rest of the week has been me learning my way around the local office, getting my team up to speed on what we'll be doing, looking for a place to live, getting a phone, getting our stuff out of customs, eating and sleeping. I had one 5:30am video conference that I got up at 4:30am for. I suspect this will be a regular occurrence. One of the first things I realized was that none of the SIM cards I brought with me will work in India. So I started the process of getting a SIM card. "Process?" I hear you ask. "Can't you just buy a pre-paid SIM from any corner store?" No. You can't (at least not officially.) Apparently if terrorists get SIM cards they will destroy the fabric of society. So in order to get a card for your phone you need to provide identification, proof of residence, and not look like a terrorist. I only have identification. So I asked my people at Google if they couldn't get me one, and waited.

While I waited, I filled out the paperwork…

Arriving in Bangalore - The Bandh

After 4 days in Singapore, we left at around 8pm and arrived in Bangalore at 10pm. This time we knew the drill, picked up our luggage and quickly found our driver. The swarms of drivers waiting outside were reassuring not intimidating, and the pushy porters wanting to load our bags were just part of the scene. When the porter asked for US$10 for loading our bags I didn't get upset or confused - I just laughed. That's the price of a nice dinner for two. I instead offered him US$5 (which is pretty standard in the US - about $1/bag - and nearly quite generous in Bangalore.)

The driver was a pleasant friendly fellow named Sanjay, who it turns out has been my driver pretty much all week. He drove us to the guest house, we put our stuff away and went to bed.

Guest House

This guest house thing is pretty nice. Google has rented most of a place called the Maranatha Apartments in D'Souza layout. (If you know what Maranatha means, and who the D'Souzas are it's not really surpris…

Impressions of Singapore

I must say flying 14 hrs on Singapore Airlines Business Class is much nicer than flying 20 hrs on United Coach. What a huge difference! The food is better, the drinks are free, but most importantly you have wide enough seats and enough leg room to stretch out - and the seats recline nearly flat! You can actually sleep in some semblance of comfort.

Anyway, after our comfortable flight we had a very short stop in Hong Kong just enough time to wander around the airport a bit a whet our appetites for a longer visit sometime in the hopefully near future, then off to Singapore proper.

... and boy is Singapore proper.

Baggage claim is quick and painless. The customs and immigration lines are efficient and no-nonsense. There are scads of brochures and advertisements everywhere telling you about all the things you can do in Singapore. We contemplate taking transit, but with two large checked bags, even Debbie thinks a cab is a better idea.

This is the best cab I've ever taken. We walk up to th…