It takes preparation for most overseas adventures but even moreso for India. Besides needing the proper entry visa, I needed to get some shots, some prescription and over-the-counter medication in case of gastro issues, and pills in case of malaria. I brought along USD200 because I figured I would not be buying much at all. My trip was strictly business - I did not plan on taking any trips outside of Pune because my goal was to work.
I often thought of my ex-colleague Lyn, who accompanied me on our first visit to India. Lyn was a treasure to travel with. She was an experienced traveler, a great conversationalist, and had a curiousity about everything. That's what made her probably our team's best pure technical writer. This was my first solo trip to India but I felt comfortable because it was my third trip there since 2014.
One thing I learned upon arrival in Mumbai was that diabetes is becoming a big issue in India. I only learned this information after seeing a Mumbai newspaper ad about diabetes testing. India has the 2nd most cases of diabetes in the world, over 77 million people, trailing just China. This is something I'd like to learn more about because in general, the people there do not seem as overweight as in the USA to my eye.
On my first day in Pune, before starting work the next day, even though it was hot, I decided to walk around to get the lay of the land. I ended up walking down Hinjewadi Road towards the Dassault System office where I will work. I think I overdid it because I was still pretty tired and needed to acclimate to the heat. But I'm glad I did because I had my first funny story experience.
At the corner of the Dassault road was a vendor selling bananas from a cart. I walked by him and walked down the road to the Dassault office. When I started walking back, he started to wave at me. I waved back, but just at that time, a cow herder was crossing the road with several cows. As this vendor was waving, a cow walked behind him and grabbed his bananas! I started frantically indicating to look behind you, but he kept waving and smiling. Finally, he got the gist, saw the cow with his bananas, grabbed them, and smacked that cow on the butt. When the cow herder came by with his other cows, they got into a heated discussion. That was my first adventure in India.
I went back to my hotel, tired, but looking forward to more adventures over the next few months.
Read more in my next post. Thanks!