Week One and Two In India at the Taj Krishna
Trip Start Mar 29, 2007
74Trip End Sep 30, 2009
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Where I stayed
Arrived into India late Saturday night the 31st of March. The trip over on Lufthansa was uneventful...pretty much the same as my previous trip. I ate a lot and slept a lot but managed to still be tired when I arrived...so getting to sleep at the hotel wasn't going to be a problem. I'm picked up at the hotel by my driver from the Taj Krishna hotel. Last time I came to Hyderabad, I stayed at the Novotel...I stayed there because it's a little cheaper, closer to the office and was the hotel recommended to me by my new boss. It was a fine hotel...but for this trip, I knew that I was going to be in a hotel for at least three weeks so I wanted to stay somewhere more posh and closer to the neighborhood that I wanted to live in...Banjara Hills. The Taj Krishna is right in the middle of Banjara Hills (B.H.) and definitely a more luxurious place to stay....but more on the Taj later.
As we leave the airport terminal and walk to the car, I can tell a huge difference from my previous trip...it's hot as hell and it's after midnight and still hot! Welcome to India in the summer time! I'm from Texas...I can handle the heat...but as we get into May, I hear that the temps will be around 115F. The car to the Taj is a nice BMW and within a few minutes we're pulling into the main drive of the hotel. I'm greeting at at the car roundabout by name and immediately taken by the concierge to my room....no lines to stand in, no waiting....right to the room...nice. At the room there's a bottle of wine, a fresh glass of orange juice, a guy who can change some money for me....etc, etc. This is definitely a different experience than the last time I came here. The room is a standard room on the Taj Club level...overlooking the pool, king size bed, 52 inch flat panel HDTV, teak floors....very, very nice for U.S. standards. I'm given a list of the amenities I get for being a Deloitte employee and it includes a free breakfast every morning, free pressing of my clothes, free happy hour with appetizers/beer, free wi fi internet, 25% discount on food and bev, etc, etc, etc. I can already tell I'm going to get spoiled here. :) I arrived purposely on a Saturday night so I could take it easy on Sunday getting acclimated to the new time zone...which I did....by laying out all day at the suh-weet Taj pool. Very, very nice...I'll try to post of picture of it
Day one at the office on Monday was basically meeting some of the same people I saw earlier, getting acclimated to my new environment, making a plan for the rest of the week and not much else. My new boss is insistent of me getting comfortable first before I start the daily job duties she brought me over to do...and I'm very appreciative of that. Major to-do's at the job this week include the basic stuff you would expect of any new employee...meet the team, get up to speed on the project, get all my office equipment figured out, etc. Personally, I have many other things to do...including getting an Indian based cell phone, getting a bank account so I can transfer money to it, searching for apartments, finding a car and driver and getting used to the city and my new surroundings.
Of the above, I managed to accomplish getting a mobile phone and getting the bank account paperwork started. The apartment is another story. The firm uses a group that will take you out searching for apartments....let's just say the 6 we saw weren't up to my standards. Seriously...one had a squat toliet...puh-lease. I'm not trying to be a prima donna...but I need to feel comfortable in the place I live. I did have a little bit of luck though based on a connection I made before leaving the US
The first weekend was also fun. Friday after work there was a company Cricket competion of which I was volunteered for. I got to go out to a small cricket pitch and embarass myself for a while. After cricekt, I went to a club called the Walden and met up with a local expact club called Hy Tea
Week two at work and things are starting to crank up. I was given some more responsibilities, helped put together a couple presentation, more conference calls and meetings....it's all good though. I need to be challenged in order to force me to learn how our India operation works and to prepare me for the tasks coming up. I'm going to be "the guy" who helps globalize our India operation so applying a little pressure now will help me deal with the huge pressure that's about to come down the pipe when we actually start going global.
Week two was also spent looking at some other apartments...they were nicer, but much more expensive. One was $1800/month...in India!!! I pretty much decided that I'm taking the expat's apartment I saw last week...it's a nice place, good patio, and I think I can make it into a home. I went over to her place Wednesday after work to let her know I wanted it and the appliances she promised me. But like the car she gave away and promised me, she now is informing me that her washing machine and stereo both do not work and I will need to purchase new ones. Information I could have used the first dozen times we talked. This woman is starting to piss me off. That's OK...it' a great place and I still want it. Thursday night I went out with my new boss and her husband to one of their favorite restaurants...Little Italy
Week three coming up...last full week at the Taj and the week before I move into my apartment!